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Archive for the ‘Abortion’ Category

Quote for the day

I can’t even grasp how wrong it is that a man who murders and feels no remorse for it can say without hesitation:

“It isn’t our duty to take life, it’s our heavenly father’s.”

Complete self-delusion.

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For a small part of the population, pro-life and pro-choice aren’t merely political and social issues. They are excuses to engage in a violent crusade against those who don’t agree with you. I would never wish violence on anyone, but I hope this episode leads both sides to have increased empathy for the other side. Those who celebrated the death of George Tiller, may now see that violence does nothing to further this cause.

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Today we hear another case of random yet targeted violence in the shooting at the Holocaust Museum in D.C. Random, because the perpetrator didn’t know the museum security guard who he killed. But targeted, because the perpetrator, a white supremacist, chose to kill someone at a museum which documents the genocide of millions of Jews during World War II.

And once again I am reminded of the poem “The Hangman” by Maurice Ogden. In the poem the hangman comes to town and at first he hangs a man from outside the town. The town breathes a sigh of relief. But the next day the hangman hangs someone from the town. Then another and another. Sometimes the hangman comes up with justifications like calling one of his victims an infidel. At the end there is no one left to save the narrator of the poem when he too is chosen by the hangman for death.

Should you worry about these crazy right-wing radicals who if not directly responsible for the violence are at least lending moral and financial support to the ones who are. If Operation Rescue were a Muslim charity, their accounts would have been seized a while ago.

Should you worry?

I’m not an abortion provider you might say. I’m not a Jew. I’m not gay. I’m not a black man running for president of the United States. I’m not a Latina woman nominated for the Supreme Court. I don’t need to worry.

Well you should.

Who was killed? A security guard who was just doing his job. Think of Naveed Haq who permanently wounded a 23-year old receptionist at the Jewish Federation in Seattle. Layla Bush was not Jewish. She too just needed a job. John Lotter and Marvin Thomas Nissen, in order to enact revenge on transsexual Brandon Teena, also killed 24-year-old Lisa Lambert and 19-year-old Phillip DeVine. Gay city supervisor Harvey Milk was shot along with mayor George Moscone.

You should care. You should really care.

THE HANGMAN

By Maurice Ogden

Into our town the hangman came,
smelling of gold and blood and flame.
He paced our bricks with a different air,
and built his frame on the courthouse square.

(more…)

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As an infrequent amateur blogger, I often have what I think are great ideas for posts but I can seem to formulate those ideas into anything coherent or even interesting. Then I just forget the ideas. Well a few times, I read my idea in another’s work, and it’s of course a million times better than what I could have put together.

That’s happened a lot with me when reading John Cole on Balloon-Juice. I was recently very annoyed by an Andrew Sullivan post about abortion where he said he could not in good conscience support abortion but really appreciates all the readers who have submitted horrific medical situations that caused them to get abortions. I mean the emails he got were so cut and dry that abortion was absolutely necessary in these cases that I felt he was being a real asshole pontificating about his conscience. Sure enough John Cole was annoyed too. And he articulates it in a very convincing post titled “Time to Rethink Your Conscience.”

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When evangelicals on the right call President Obama a socialist, a racist, anti-American, an abortionist, not a real American, and, echoing the former Vice President, someone who is weakening America’s defenses and making us less safe, the logical conclusion is violence. If you take these words literally you might pull the trigger to “make America safe” and/or free us from communism or to even protect us from — what some “Christian” leaders claim — Obama as the Antichrist. – Frank Schaeffer

I first heard of Frank Schaeffer listening to Fresh Air where he was promoting his book Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All — or Almost All — of It Back. He had a hilarious moment in the interview where he described that his whole family was close to the Bush’s. When George W., then governor of Texas, announced his intention run for President, Schaeffer’s mother called him frantically. She said I that she just couldn’t believe the news. She said, “Barbara is always calling me up and saying pray for George, nothing really ever works out for him”.

The top quote is from a piece called “How I (and Other “Pro-Life” Leaders) Contributed to Dr. Tiller’s Murder.” I am pretty much speechless about this act of terrorism on Dr. Tiller. Maybe I can form words later.

Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All — or Almost All — of It Back

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This study came out last week. I may be overstating it a bit to call it explosive, but I think it could spark a big change in what type of contraceptives women use.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Young women who use oral contraceptives (OC) may not get as much out of their weight-lifting routine as women who are not on the pill, according to a study released today, which suggests that OC use impairs muscle gains from resistance exercise training in women.

“The factors that explain the differences in the magnitude of the responses to resistance exercise training between individuals are largely unknown,” Chang-Woock Lee, from Texas A&M University in College Station, told Reuters Health.

“The present study is meaningful in that we have identified a potential new factor that may be independently associated with the characteristics and variability of muscle responses to a controlled resistance exercise training program,” the researcher added.

In the study, 73 generally healthy women between 18 and 31 years old participated in whole-body resistance exercises three times per week for 10 weeks. Thirty-four of the women used oral contraceptives and 39 did not. The women were encouraged to eat enough protein to promote muscle growth.

In the article, which I highly recommend, they posit that women taking the pill may not have enough testosterone to build muscle.

Why do I think this is explosive? The pill is most popular with young women. Young women are more likely to care about their appearance and weight in such a way that they would be reluctant to use the pill as their contraceptive if it negatively impacts their workout routine. Think I am painting a vain and petty portrait of young women? Perhaps.

But given that the pill is advertised to women in such a variety of  petty ways, the advertising companies at least believe women would make their contraceptive choices on even flimsier grounds. Like the pill that will help with acne. Or the pill that you take once a month. Or every two months. Or every two weeks. Or every year. How about patch? Or a ring? Or an implant under your arm? It’s just so dang difficult to take a pill everyday. The pharmaceutical companies have taken one drug and turned it into a million different varieties of the same thing thereby creating multiple patents.

Will this lead  to an increase in non-oral contraceptives? More children? More abortions? I think it’s too soon to tell, but I’m interested in following this.

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It’s pretty obvious that America has some serious problems. None of which have to do with gay marriage or abortion or name your own wedge issue. Alabama, Los Angeles. These daily massacres are starting to become commonplace.

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Slate features pro-life women who used to vote on the single issue alone and are now voting for Obama despite their beliefs. Meanwhile I’ve been going in the opposite direction. I’ve gone from thinking voting on a single issue was silly to now thinking that maybe some issues (war, torture, abortion) are important enough. What has George Bush done to the Republican party?

It isn’t that Turnbach’s stand on abortion has shifted any, she says. But her view of the Republican Party’s commitment to seeing Roe overturned has: “Even if McCain does get in, he’s not going to do anything” that would lead to a reversal of Roe. The legality of abortion “is not going to change,” she’s concluded, “and I really don’t think it should be an issue” in this presidential race.

Like others who told me they had based their vote on the single issue of abortion the last two times around, Turnbach’s says her ’08 calculus takes other matters—like the economy, the economy and the economy—into account: “McCain was on my nerves the other night, prancing around” at the debate in Nashville, she says, while Obama” strikes her as “level-headed, intelligent, and someone who doesn’t fly off the handle; I like him.” Age is another strike against McCain in her view: “McCain is so old,” says Turnbach, who is retired. “If he passed away, we’d have someone so inexperienced it’s scary.” Most of her pro-life friends who went for Bush in 2000 and 2004 are also Obama grandmamas now, she says, including one who is really sweating the switch but “doesn’t think McCain is mentally stable.”

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In his own words, John McCain tells us what his judicial philosophy is. I am struck with how the current president and John McCain really do speak in code. He never uses the word abortion yet there is no doubt that the primary purpose of this speech is to ensure that he will appoint the same kind of judges that have approved bans on some abortions. Instead he uses more widely agreed upon examples of undesirable decisions like the following:

A local government seized the private property of an American citizen. It gave that property away to a private developer. And this power play actually got the constitutional “thumbs-up” from five m embers of the Supreme Court.

And then there’s this knock on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:

Then there was the case of the man in California who filed a suit against the entire United States Congress, which I guess made me a defendant too. This man insisted that the words “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance violated his rights under the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The Ninth Circuit court agreed, as it usually does when litigious people seek to rid our country of any trace of religious devotion.

John McCain cannot be more specific when he says:

I have my own standards of judicial ability, experience, philosophy, and temperament. And Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito meet those standards in every respect. They would serve as the model for my own nominees if that responsibility falls to me.

There probably isn’t a person out there who isn’t disappointed in our Supreme Court in some way although those ways may be drastically different, but I think the above shows McCain’s willingness to continue the tradition that George W. Bush has set — however favorably or unfavorably you think that tradition may be.

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I think John McCain is realizing that right now that he would have done better to ignore evangelicals since nothing he has done seems to satisfy them anyway. Here’s James Dobson today:

“I’m deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, who voted for embryonic stem cell research to kill nascent human beings, who opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, and who has little regard for freedom of speech, who organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.

If today’s results are any indication, he didn’t need them anyway. But I often wonder, why does anyone try? When you’re talking to people who believe God is on their side and directly speaking to them it’s easy to come up short.

Mitt tried. Bill Keller’s response:

“If you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan!” he writes in his daily devotional to be sent out to 2.4 million e-mail subscribers tomorrow.

I’m reminded also of Jeb Bush who really put himself out there to evangelicals. He steps in to prevent a woman in a coma from having her feeding tube removed. He gets members of the U.S. Congress involved to pass a law keeping this same woman alive. Evangelical extremist’s response:

[The protestors’] ire was directed at Michael Schiavo, Terri’s husband, who successfully petitioned the courts to have her feeding tube removed; at state judge George Greer, who has ruled consistently in his favor; and increasingly, at President Bush and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “If Gov. Bush wants to be the man that his brother is, he needs to step up to the plate like President Bush did when the United Nations told him not to go into Iraq,” Randall Terry, a protest organizer, said of the governor. “Be a man. Put politics aside.” Sharon Mull, who drove here from St. Augustine, said she had written three letters to the governor in the past few days. “It seems like he could have intervened more,” she said.

Among the messages on protest signs Sunday: “Barbara Bush: Are you proud of your sons now?” “Stop the American Holocaust!” “Send in the National Guard!”

I hope this will be the beginning of the end of influence of these crazy extremists on politics. McCain apparently doesn’t need them, and in fact, he is probably ahead with moderates because of the very reason extremists abhor him.

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Huckabee, who said he was not there as a presidential candidate, warmed up his conservative audience by declaring that overturning the Roe v. Wade court ruling was not enough because it would leave individual states to decide their own laws on abortion – a moral issue where there is a right and a wrong, contends the former pastor. He argues that a constitutional amendment that defines life at conception is necessary to prevent “50 versions of right and wrong.”

“We are taught that we are the salt of the earth. That means that when something is spoiling, we are to be there to keep it from spoiling,” Huckabee explained. “We miss that if we think the purpose of believers is to be really, really well behaved in church.

“Being well behaved in church is a fine thing, but we don’t change the world by being behaved in church,” he pointed out to a receptive audience. “We change the world when we are the salt and that means we sometimes will irritate and sometimes agitate, but we will preserve.”

Frightening, yes, but I’ve got to give him credit for being honest. He’s not trying to straddle line; with Huckabee, you know exactly what you’re getting.

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. These religious nut jobs need to clean their own house before trying to “preserve” the morality of the rest of us. Being well behaved in the Church? Haven’t seen much of that lately. The same people who are so set on limiting your rights have gay sex in bathrooms, have pre-marital sex, have anal sex, have abortions and get divorced.

If you want to spread the word of Christianity and not make it look like a joke, try cleaning house first. I can’t tell you how many atheists I meet who left the church because of the hypocrisy throughout.

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