Thursday, March 01, 2007

On 'pro-life' hypocrisy...

Given my recent debate with "pro-lifers" who defend faith-based medical neglect of the unborn, I must say I find this article on Salon.com extremely interesting.

As I tried to point out to the religious extremists who decry abortion but defend a couple not getting a stitch of prenatal care, the decision to deny prenatal care to an unborn child is just as much a pro-choice stance as abortion.

Of course, they denied this vigorously, but if you read the Salon article you'll see that the very same people who argue for the right to abortion also argue for a woman's right not to get any medical care during her pregnancy, even if she and her baby are at risk of death.

In other words, if you are anti-prenatal care you are in the pro-choice camp.

128 comments:

thimscool said...

I'm sorry but I must start out the comments thread here by disagreeing with you.

I am against euthanasia. But I have a living will that specifies taht heroic measures should not be taken to prolong my life.

There is a difference between seeking to kill the unborn vs. seeking to let nature take its course. Can't you see that?

Morgan said...

That's OK, Luke. You're welcome to disagree.

I could put my son in the woods tonight and let nature take it's course, right? I mean, if he gets toted off by a coyote, falls into a stream or freezes to death that's technically just nature taking its course. Or I could ignore is raging fever and congestion and pray over him, and when he dies of pneumonia, and I can call that a natural death as well. Bacteria and viruses are natural, after all.

But as a parent I have a responsibility to him that started even before he was born. If I claim to value my child's life my job as a parent is to make sure he is healthy. If I claim to be pro-life but drink a fifth of vodka during my pregnancy or refuse to get medical treatment for my gestational diabetes or try to deliver vaginally without a doctor's help even though I know the baby is breach then someone might be expected to question how much I truly value my child's life.

And if I advocate such neglect for others, they might have the same doubt when I say I'm pro-life.

Now is leaving my kid in the woods the same thing as shooting him in the head? Is the decision to deliver a baby without medical care by a high risk mother the same thing as aborting it?

Obviously not. One actively ends a child's life, the other treats it as a crap shoot. And that's not a stance that sanctifies life. It's a stance that elevates the rights of the parents above the rights of the child. In other words, it's pro-choice.

thimscool said...

Well, you know I'm no Christian Scientist.

I agree that prenatal care is vital, and that anyone that is pro life should be pro-giving-a-shit-about-life before and after the birth.

I can understand the urge some have to leave everything in God's hands. But I believe we are God's hands, and we have a duty to act when we can to promote life, health, liberty, and happiness.

Morgan said...

See, that's my whole point and one I tried to convey during the debate on the issue.

I *love* what you say about how we're God's hands. I would hope anyone who tries to defend denying a child - born or unborn - medical care would carefully consider that statement.

Anonymous said...

After your email I got a chance to get a look at the debate before it disappeared. I don't know if I could have taken that man to the mat quite the way you did in light of his terrible loss, and I was very close to feeling utterly sorry for him until he said he would do it all over again. That really upset me.
I will say Morgan that your aggressive style tends to detract from the point. I think you clearly ran circles around your opponents but did it in such a way that they came across feeling like victims. That only makes it easier to focus on not what they did but how you made them feel about. Can you not see that?
God Bless You,
Margaret

Roland said...

Hey Morgan,

I read the debate. It was interesting, but I'll disagree with you some.

"I could put my son in the woods tonight and let nature take it's course, right? I mean, if he gets toted off by a coyote, falls into a stream or freezes to death that's technically just nature taking its course."

Yeah, but is it 'natural' for a mother to behave like that?

Also, you are dealing with people here. People who have gone through tremendous pain and anguish. The real issue here is people and how you deal with them. I mean you could stop by my site and call me 'Tarzan' or some such and wonder why I think you act very much like that yourself. Or you could try to UNDERSTAND the other people (as you so often advocate) and look at it through their eyes for a moment.

I believe life is special and sacred. I also don't believe I have all the means and power to enforce it on everyone else.

I still think murdering an unborn baby is a different thing than weighing your income and trying to make ends meet. According to what you said in the other debate, you would have advocated for food neglect for the children already present to ensure 'good' pre-natal care. Or at least made them feel guilty no matter what they said.

I understand what you are trying to say, but I believe your point could be brought up in a much kinder way that would promote unity.

Just my thoughts.

Morgan said...

Margaret,

You'll get no argument from me regarding your criticisms of my "aggressive" style. There is no other way of describing it, really.

I think I tend to overestimate people and in this case believed that a man who characterized women all women who make the painful choice to abort are only concerned with "conveniece" or the "next piece of meat between their legs" might be strong enough to hold up under the similar light of judgement from someone who really didn't know him either.

Alas, he seemed far more comfortable wondering how a mother abandoned by her husband could end her pregnancy than second guessing his decision to deny his older, diabetic wife the benefit of prenatal care for her high-risk pregnancy.

As it turns out, to people like that, the aborted baby is a shame while the baby that dies via neglect becomes some sort of badge of honor, a proof of their faith in God. Verily, such reasoning surpasseth all understanding. Here I was thinking it was a life.

But the infusion of emotion certainly did make the guy look like a victim, that I readily concede. However, anytime you debate choice it's bound to turn into an emotional battleground.

Morgan said...

"Yeah, but is it 'natural' for a mother to behave like that?"

No! It's not natural. But it's equally unnatural to most people who love their children to even consider going through an entire nine months of pregnancy without the benefit of a single ounce of medical oversight!

I also agree that I as dealing with people. So is the blogger who originally wrote the post and - along with the man in question - made sweeping generalizations that women who undergo abortions do so out of selfishness or for purposes of convenience. If words have consequences and an impact on people we know, in the blogosphere they also have consequences and an impact on people we don't know.

I don't think my moral reproach of D. was any more hurtful than the moral reproach he and others have made to any woman who happened upon that blog only to see herself described as a Baby Killer.

The difference is that we *know* "D" so we're more sympathetic. We hate to see him hurt, to see him being forced to agonize over his choice although he had no problem advancing an opinion that likely made other people feel similarly condemned.

And Roland, when it comes to making ends meet some things you sacrifice and some things you don't. For instance, if your wife is older and carrying a high-risk pregnancy and you're trying to find a way to pay for her care, then you cut expenses, which might include your Internet connection and any of the numerous extras. If it's still not enough you go to your church, your health department, your local free charity clinic- anywhere help can be found if you TRULY value the life of that baby.

I don't think I made anyone feel guilty. I think "D" already feels guilty. On the other hand, he said he'd do it all again so maybe I'm wrong about that, too.

As I told Margaret, I could have perhaps been a bit softer in my approach but I don't think I was any harder on "D" than other alleged pro-lifers are on the people they villify.

Roland said...

Morgan,

I understand your points. And I understand what you are trying to say.
And I would bet that they do have feelings of guilt. Wouldn't you?

Making broad sweeping generalizations isn't always helpful. The response o it is something you have control over.

There is a song by Casting Crowns called >"Does anybody hear her"br/>
Is this what you're trying to say?

Anonymous said...

It did seem that D tripped himself up a lot in trying to defend his decision. That is why I think he does feel guilty because he is so desparate to justify the awful outcome of his decision in an attempt to find some peace. But in doing so he was angry, irrational and emotional which as I recall is just how the original post described people who defend abortions. I wonder if anyone else noticed that.
God Bless You,
Margaret

Roland said...

Sorry, I messed up the link. :)

Morgan said...

Roland, I think D must feel guilty. How could he not? By his own admission the baby's movement slowed down a day before it died and he took his wife to the hospital. Of course, having no medical history on her and without a midwife or doctor who knew them and could advocate for a fetal stress test or blood work that could have warranted an emergency C-section, they were just sent home. That's the kind of thing that must make a couple kick themselves the rest of their life, if they ever had even an ounce of love for the child.

I don't think addressing what happened is making sweeping generalizations. I was a lot more sympathetic to D until he decided to defend his decision not to get prenatal care for his wife and state he'd do it all over again. At that point I just felt mostly sorry for the baby.

I believe the pro-life rhetoric is typically full of the type of condemnation and genearalizations. Anyone who can possibly understand why a poor, abandoned woman might consider abortion is branded a baby killer. And yet we're expected to give a free pass to a man who played fast an loose with his unborn son's own life? I don't think so.

Roland said...

Who said he played it fast and loose? Maybe I'm misunderstanding something. I got the distinct impression that they felt, and feel, awful about it. Is there things they could have done that could then have changed the circumstances? Maybe. Either way, do you want them to understand your point? Will confrontations get your point across? Or is there another way?

Morgan said...

Roland, anyone who chances going without medical care for an admitted high-risk pregnancy is playing it fast and loose.

D says he grieves the loss, says he hates to see his wife in pain, and yet says if he had to do it all over again he would have made the same decision. That seems inconsistent to me.

I think D is more interested in justifying his decision than he is in taking responsibility for it. It appears he is content to let his wife bear the burden of guilt for the baby's death rather than saying to her, "We may have made a mistake. Let me share this burden with you and trust me that this will never happen again."

It seems to me that could truly begin to heal the wounds he claims have been reopened if he took a share of the responsibility instead of arrogantly defending the decision not to get prenatal care for his wife. I happen to think that arrogance is keeping him from hearing anything other than his own pride in this matter, regardless of what approach is used.

Roland said...

That may be Morgan.
But is it easier to mold soft clay into a shape you want, or heat it in fire and then try to do it?

Morgan said...

Roland, obviously it's easier to mold clay that is soft. But if it's already hardened in the fires of vanity the soft approach won't work.

If you read the debate, you may have noted that I started out by simply asking a nonconfrontational question of D, which was how a person could claim to be pro-life if they made a choice to neglect their unborn child's medical care, only to have that child die.

He reacted furiously at the very question at having *his* "choice" questioned, saying I didn't know his circumstances, even though he'd been freely condemning the choices of others without knowing their cirumstances either.

Can I understand why he reacted defensively? Sure. Can I understand why he didn't stop and consider that what he was enduring via my speculation was little different than what any woman who read his comments may have been forced to endure?

Methinks there might be enough criticism to go around here. Pro-choice politics is an emotional issue and rarely can be debated without invective. The way I look it, people who use the term "Baby Killers" have already pulled out the stops. When they are forced to play by their own rules, can they really be all that surprised?

Amber said...

Morgan, I've been lurking somewhat for a while now.

I like to read about your love of your family and animals. I like the way your mind works. If I were to sum you up, I would say you are a Pagan Christian. Heh. Hopefully you see what I mean by that. I mean it in the best way. :) :)

I did not read the debate of which you speak of, nor did I finish the Salon article.

I just wanted to address the stereotype that often gets slapped onto every woman who chooses an abortion of being irresponsible at best and an inhuman monster at worst. (And I'm not pointing at YOU or your commenters, I haven't seen anyone say that here; however, it is often implied/said)

I am a 50 y/o mother of two and I adore my children beyond anything in life. We have a great relationship and I think they have grown up into stellar human beings. I'm very proud of them both. :)

I also had a daycare for kids while they were growing up and I loved every one of those kids. Some of them still contact me and some of my greatest moments as an unselfish person in this world are the times I gave my heart and my help to them. Especially since some of them were from disadvantaged and abusive homes.

I love animals as well and I have a vast appreciation for the world in general and its beauty.

As someone said to me recently, "you just love life!" and I do.

That being said, I have had two abortions and I do not regret them. Both times it was my husband's and my pregnancy. The first time we'd just gotten married, I was only 18 and scared to death. We had used birth control but it must've failed. Too scared to want to be a mother yet. Hell, I was still a baby. :)

Had my two at 22 and 27 with planning. Then got pregnant again at 30 despite an IUD (it went up inside and I didn't realize it) and again I chose to abort. This time around it was fear of bleeding to death (because I almost died with my second one because of that) and also because we were struggling so much financially. I knew that with a new baby, we'd lose our fragile hold we'd just gotten on a better life for us and the kids.

So I didn't abort because I'm a promiscuous whore and I'm not a cruel unfeeling woman, either. :)

It seemed to be the natural decision to me at the time and it still does.

I don't see new life as "magical" or "sacred", you see. I see life and death as a circle, a continual part of this process we call Living. Not sacred at all. Precious, yes. Important, of course.

Mystical? Ah...no. :)

I also know that we women are all born with millions of eggs. They die off to around 400,000 eggs or so by the time women (girls) are able to become pregnant. So that's around 400,000 potential human beings that just aren't going to make it.

Every month when I have my period, an egg (or more?) gets flushed away. And every time my husband ejaculates millions of sperm, because we use birth control, they get wasted.

This does not say "sacred" or "mystical" to me but rather that we are simply mammals and just like all the other mammals Nature's plan is for us to have many more progeny than we need; assuming that the harsh conditions of the world will cause maybe half of those offspring to die off.

So just because one egg and the one sperm may fuse together and begin the process of creating a new being doesn't make that zygote special. It's just something my body can do. And even as the fetus grows, I still do not believe it is "sacred" or "special".

It's just a fetus, not a baby, not yet. It's still a part of me and like my eggs or like my husband's sperm, we can decide to do what we want to with it because, to us, it is still a "potential" baby, not an actual baby.

Just like my eggs are potential humans, not humans yet.

Now, I'm well aware that to many, (maybe most of you who read here) this means I'm a murderer or soulless or worse.

That's cool, I'm not out to change anyone's mind, just give you a peek into my reasons and my beliefs. :)

Not all women who get abortions get them for the purpose of birth control, we're not all sluts, we're not all heartless monsters or emotional victims.

Many of us (probably most) are regular housewives and moms who made the choices we thought was best for ourselves and our existing family. We do it quietly and without fanfare. Like many choices in life, it's not easy nor fun but necessary in our eyes.

Just wanted to speak up for those of us who are like that. Thanks for the space and sorry for the length! :)

Anonymous said...

Roland did you notice all the people saying "baby killer" early in that debate? When you argue for a softness are you talking to Morgan alone or those people as well? While I don't favor Morgan's approach I really can't see how it is any different than what was flying around at the other blog to begin with. It does seem sort of telling that you and others did not get upset until David was questioned about his decision. So I do think that Morgan may be right when she suggests that sympathy here is divided along ideaological lines. Yes she made everyone very, very uncomfortable, even those of us who love her, however sometimes we don't think until we are outside our comfort zone and people like her do make us do that. That is one of the reasons I read her even when I do not agree.
God Bless You,
Margaret

Roland said...

Margaret,

I didn't see the 'baby-killer' label. And yes, they should behave as well. Unfortunately as human beings we suffer pain. When wounds are touched we don't often react as well as we should. More understanding should hopefully be given on the part of those that are touching sore spots.
Either way, consideration and kindness work better than name calling.

Morgan,

Maybe you're right. I hope people don't decide to treat you like hardened clay and try to break you. We all have those points. All of us. Wouldn't you agree?

Amber,

Although I can understand your decision, I disagree with your view of life. If a fetus isn't a life, what is it?
We kill bacteria. They're alive.
We kill animals. They're alive.
We kill unborn infants. They're alive.
If you are disagreeing about whether they are human, check their DNA. You might be surprised. ;)

Morgan said...

Amber,

You know when this whole debate started over on Erik's blog, I didn't get involved right away. He's sense pulled it, but the gist of his original post was in praise of another blogger who enjoys calling anyone who's pro-choice a "Baby-Killer." Now, I've always liked Erik and conveyed my disappointment at how he hitched his wagon to people who use that kind of rhetoric.

When I finally did pipe in, it wasn't to defend or decry abortion but to point out that it may be unfair to just issue a blanket condemnation of anyone who has had to make that choice. I know there are women out there- lots of women - who make the decision for the very gut-wrenching reasons you did. Sometimes the decision is made with a partner, sometimes without. Often for finances or health reasons the woman simply doesn't feel she has a choice.

That was my original contribution to the debate and D, who claims to be a prophet and a man of God, stepped forward to say he'd tell any woman who had an abortion to stop thinking about putting the "next piece of meat between her legs" and then he and Erik both chimed in that women who had abortions did so usually out of convenience.

So I put the question to D about prenatal care, just to see how firm his pro-life convictions were. Yes, I knew he'd had a stillborn son but wasn't aware that he'd and his wife had willfully chosen to go without prenatal care until he said that's what they'd done.

It quickly became clear that people who are so quick to condemn the personal choices of others are not so comfortable with the shoe being on the other foot.

You've been completely honest, Amber. You aren't walking the fence on this issue. You're pro-choice and don't apologize for it. You aren't trying to live in both worlds.

D, on the other hand, is. He and those who defend him would have us believe that your choice is wrong, but his was holy, even though both ended up with the same outcome.

Now, D and his enablers would scream and cry that his situation was different because he *wanted* his baby. But as I argued over on Erik's blog, if you are truly pro-life you have an even higher moral obligation to protect that life, and going without prenatal care is the equivelant of putting your unrestrained infant in the front seat of the car and just trusting that it won't fly throughthe windshield if you slam on brakes.

Whether you choose to end a pregnancy or choose not to get prenatal care, you're putting your rights and what is best for your situation above the life inside of you. That is a pro-choice position and not one I'm fit to condemn.

I don't condemn you or D. What I did condemnt was D's hypocrisy in trying to have it both ways. He's clearly pro-choice, whether he wants to believe it or not.

Cristian-pagan, huh? *grin* Oddly enough you aren't the first person to say that about me. I think I happen to be eclectic in my beliefs.

I always enjoy your perspective, Amber, and especially do now. I think your thoughts certainly have a place in this debate. Thank you.

Roland said...

One more thing Margaret.
I tend to get 'upset' when people are hurt. I didn't say I don't understand the two views, I just think kindness is lacking in our world lately.
(sigh)

Morgan said...

"Maybe you're right. I hope people don't decide to treat you like hardened clay and try to break you. We all have those points. All of us. Wouldn't you agree?"

Roland, if I harden my heart to my own actions while condemning others then perhaps I'm setting myself up to get broken. Don't you agree?

"If you are disagreeing about whether they are human, check their DNA. You might be surprised."

Roland, do you think D's baby had human DNA? I do. When my dog is pregnant, she goes to the vet, just so I can be assured everything is OK. Don't you think a mother harboring that little human DNA you seem to care so much about deserves at least the same care my pregnant dog gets? Especially if the couple is *truly* pro-life.
Are you prepared to remind D that his child was human, and deserving of care and protection?
If you look at it objectively well, you just might be surprised....

Morgan said...

"So I do think that Morgan may be right when she suggests that sympathy here is divided along ideaological lines."

Margaret, you have hit the nail on the head. The only ones who are apparently allowed to disregard life are the pro-lifers.

Roland said...

I noticed that they said 'usually' and not 'all'. And for those done out of convenience their advice was correct, if rather lacking in compassion. Also, men should learn to control their 'meat' as well. There are not enough immediate consequences for men in those cases.
The song I linked gives a good indication of what happens and how we fail to miss the point that the woman who does have an abortion is also a human being. I know you think Jesus is a great story Morgan, but I believe He is a whole lot more.

Roland said...

"Roland, if I harden my heart to my own actions while condemning others then perhaps I'm setting myself up to get broken. Don't you agree?"

Yes. But is it your job to do the breaking?

"Are you prepared to remind D that his child was human, and deserving of care and protection?
If you look at it objectively well, you just might be surprised.... "

Temper, temper Morgan. Did D or myself deny that his baby was human? And my smiley was to indicate that the fetus is indeed a human. Not the other way around. Sorry I was misunderstood. I hope you don't get too worked up about it.

Roland said...

Does it surprise you Morgan that as a pro-lifer I think people should try to get pre-natal care?
(Your ascerbic wit is starting to erode our ability to communicate)
Lighten up a little and try to understand what I am saying without assuming you do.
Thank you. :)
The smile is to help you understand the way in which I wish to discuss this topic.

Roland said...

Since no one seemd to want to read the lyrics to the song:

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

If judgement looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

thimscool said...

It reminds me a little of the lyrics of Michelle Shocked's song, Prodigal Daughter:

What's to be done with a prodigal son?
Welcome him home with open arms
Throw a big party, invite your friends
Our boy's come back home

When a girl goes home with the oats he's sown
It's draw your shades and your shutters
She's bringing such shame to the family name
The return of the prodigal daughter

Roland said...

Thanks Luke.
Thant's what I've been trying to say. But as I'm pro-life I have been equated with non-compassionate.
I personally love the movie 'Saved!'

thimscool said...

I gather from the comments here that this was about a friend of mine. I missed that at first and was speaking abstractly.

I am sad about this exchange, and it makes a difference to me that it was about someone that I respect so much.

But my first comment here still sticks, and that was when I had an abstract understanding of the topic. I understand your point, Morgan, but in your zeal it seems that you are trying to draw an equivalence between actively killing and malign neglect. There is no equivalence. They are orders of magnitude apart. Intent matters.

I am sure that D feels some measure of guilt, or at least regret. But the choice he made is not even in the same ballpark as the choice to have an abortion. True, both result in death of the unborn. But that was not his intent.

Can you not see the difference?

I would also like to praise Roland's conduct here, because he is very right that nothing will change as long as everyone is shouting. He was indirectly called a hypocrite himself for chastising you but not the people that resort to language like "baby-killer". But he turned the other cheek and said that everyone should take a deep breath and try to be kind on both sides. I urge you to step back and rethink what Roland is saying here.

thimscool said...

Amber,

I will not condemn you for your choice, but I must disagree with some of what you said.

Neither an egg nor a sperm cell are a human being, since they lack all of the chromosomes necessary to provide a complete human genetic code. A zygote is undoubtedly a human life, although I would agree that it cannot feel, think, or live independently from the mother for many weeks. That is largely why the legal status of abortion is such a thorny issue.

For my own part, I would never support a law that makes abortion illegal if the mothers life is demonstrably in danger, and that would likely be the case in the second situation you described. In such cases, if the mother decides to abort, this should be done as early as possible in the pregnancy, but even partial birth abortion should be legal if the mother's life is in danger. In the case of partial birth abortion, however, there should be some serious over site, and not just the word of some "Dr. Death".

In the first case, I would ask if you considered the option of adoption? Personally, I'd like to see some of the time, money, and energy that people spend on both sides of the abortion debate go into improving the facilities that we have for matching pregnant women with potential adopters. I would go so far as to suggest that public money should be spent on this problem to compensate the woman for the difficulties of bringing the baby to term. Society needs kids, and it needs kids that will be well parented. There are currently a surplus of families looking to adopt babies in America.

For this approach to work, however, we need to get rid of the stigma that women feel about having babies that they can't afford. Calling people "baby-killers" or "whores" ain't helpful. I wish that Roland's attitude were more pervasive.

thimscool said...

Having said that, I would say that I cannot understand how partial birth abortion is safer for the mother than a c-section...

Amber said...

Morgan said: I don't condemn you or D. What I did condemn was D's hypocrisy in trying to have it both ways. He's clearly pro-choice, whether he wants to believe it or not.

I know you weren't condemning me! :)

As for "D", like I said, I didn't read this debate that keeps getting referred to and frankly, I don't want to because it sounds like everybody got really upset. Which makes sense because it's such a sensitive issue for most people.

I know that you get passionate sometimes about what you believe in (and so do I!) but I'm sure whatever you said to D, you said it in an attempt to be understood and to hopefully offer some wisdom, because that is who and how you are. :)

Luke, I do not think my fears of bleeding to death with my fourth pregnancy would have been considered legitimate enough to warrant an abortion to "save" me. After all, I ended up being fine, our son was fine, everything turned out fine. Yes, there was probably a risk; if I had given birth without being in a hospital...well I probably wouldn't be here today, but it wasn't like I was warned to never get pregnant again afterwards because I wasn't.

My husband was the one who felt most strongly about that aspect of it, not me.

For me, it was mostly the financial situation and also...it takes a lot out of me physically to carry a baby nine months to term. It's not an easy thing; the vomiting, the body changes, the whole process...

And I never "snapped back". I was never the same again physically; each child took a great deal of...something from me that I never got back again.

So it's a bit frustrating to me when people suggest adoption as the easy answer; like it's nothing for a woman to carry a child to term, like it's child play; you get pregnant and it pops out a month or so later, like a puppy.

It's no small feat to go through a pregnancy, not for me and not for any woman I've known and I would never in a million years judge a woman for choosing not to go through a pregnancy.

Which brings me to your question about why didn't we adopt out the first time since I didn't know yet how I was at risk? Well, I was plain old scared, that's all, terrified beyond belief at having a baby grow inside me for nine whole months so I chose myself and my needs over the fetus/baby/human or whatever you want to call it inside me. :)

As for the eggs and sperm thing, I brought that up to debunk the whole "miracle of life" attitude not to suggest eggs and sperm were the same exact things as fetuses and zygotes because they are not.

As for whether or not a 3 week old fetus is the same thing as a baby that's come to full term, you're right, that's the sticking point for many but it's also not one I care to debate because hardly anyone agrees and all hell breaks loose. :)

Morgan said...

"I am sure that D feels some measure of guilt, or at least regret. But the choice he made is not even in the same ballpark as the choice to have an abortion. True, both result in death of the unborn. But that was not his intent.

Can you not see the difference?"

I see the difference, but I also see this situation in degrees. Whether it's wrong or right, I tend to have far more compassion for parents whose child was lost to cancer than for parents whose child was lost to neglect or abuse. I have some very dear homeschooling friends who ride around town with their three and six year old kids unrestrained in their minivan. I worry sick about those kids. If they are ever in an accident and those children are killed, I will be devastated, but also very angry at what I perceive as an avoidable tragedy. And on some level I would hold the parents to blame for the deaths. I think if we decide once we decide to have kids we should be prepared to do everything in our power to accept the responsibility of protecting them. If we believe that life begins at conception, then that's when that responsiblity starts.

I don't personally like abortion, but I wouldn't outlaw early abortions because I believe that is the only option for some women. Sure, it's easy to advise adoption but as I tried to tell Erik, D and others early in the initial debate, I'm reminded of a single mother I knew whose abusive husband abandoned her after finding out she was pregnant with her second child. The first pregnancy had threatened her life and she could not fathom being hospitalized again with no family support, no health insurance and risk losing her job and handing over care of her three-year-old to an alcholic ex. Those were her options, guys, and I can't judge her for making the terrible decision she had to make. Sometimes, as hard as it may be for you to fathom, the decision to end a pregnancy is made not just with the woman's needs, but the whole family's needs in mind.

The problem I have is with people who try to slap a one-size-fits-all judgement on women who have abortions. Or a one-size-fits-all fix like adoption. There are degrees to abortion. Sure, some may be done selfishly but I don't believe most are.

Neglect has degrees, too. I realize this. There is malicious neglect, such as when a mother combines lack of prenatal care with her continued drinking and smoking without because she really doesn't care if her baby lives or dies. I acknowledge that this is far different than what happened in D's case, which I think probably fits benign neglect. He obviously did not want his child to die; he wasn't being malicious when he took the risk of denying his son prenatal care. But it was reckless, and still a risk few reasonable people would be willing to take.

So, Roland and Luke, in the spirit of modifying my own rhetoric I certainly am prepared to cut D some slack here and acknowledge that I have been hard on him. Of course he didn't want his child to die. I still remained puzzled at his insistence that he would make the same decision again, but that's clearly between him and God.

However, I do think those who have been unnerved by what they see as my condemnation of D will exercise the same compassion when looking at women and families facing unplanned pregnancies and realize that abortion - like medical neglect of the unborn - needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

thimscool said...

"So it's a bit frustrating to me when people suggest adoption as the easy answer; like it's nothing for a woman to carry a child to term, like it's child play; you get pregnant and it pops out a month or so later, like a puppy."

I did not say that. In fact, I said that I think it would be good for our society to consider paying women to carry their child to term, with the understanding that the child would be adopted by someone with the heart and means to parent them.

I have not said outright that abortion should be made illegal and replaced by adoption. However, I think that 'abortion on demand' is a sketchy policy at best.

The unborn baby should be afforded some legal rights. By the time that they are capable of living outside the womb (around 28 weeks), those rights should be equivalent to the mothers rights. But from the moment of conception, there should be some legal rights of the unborn, I think.

Women don't like men telling them what to do with their bodies... they think this is an entirely personal decision. But there are at least two persons involved, and society (including men) will make legislation.

This issue is bound to tear our country apart.

Roland said...

Thank you Morgan.
I'm not sure how D will take it, but I appreciate your willingness to be benign.
And thanks especially to Luke. I feel like I don't communicate well sometimes and it is nice to have someone understand me. :)

I also think you are not condemning D, but the actions he espoused as hypocritical. I think it makes a difference.
I used to be more rigid in my defense of life, but the only life I have a great amount of control over is my own. Even my children will and do make their own choices. And though they are yet young, I know they will make bad ones sometimes. I know I do. :)
I just try to treat them the same way that I have been treated by my best friend.

Roland said...

"This issue is bound to tear our country apart."

Too true, Luke. Too true.

thimscool said...

The nature of law is to generalize Morgan. It sounds good to consider abortion on a case by case basis, but the only policy that can result from that is abortion on demand.

Or do you think that we should have judges or magistrates that sign off on each and every abortion, after a trial or review? That's over a million a year.

Your position is entirely pro-choice, and I recognize it because I used to think that way. But my thinking on this issue is evolving. I haven't settled on where I stand yet, but it is clear in my mind that late term babies are as human as you or I, and deserve rights.

Morgan said...

Luke, I think support for abortion has its degrees too. I'm not for late term abortion but really I can't see any justification for the government to step in and tell a woman or a couple they must continue a pregnancy.

As Amber pointed out, pregnancy is physically taxing and I happen to agree with her when she says pro-lifers (especially men) apparently liken giving birth to a baby after a nine-month to giving birth to a puppy after a month's gestation. This is one area where you guys just don't have a clue.

Do you want to be the judge to look at a woman who just found out that she's pregnant and tell her that in spite of her history of eclampsia, despite the fact that her husband beats her that she must carry that pregnancy to term?

If the nature is to generalize then we are back to square one. If early abortion is murder, then taking an abortifacient like the pill is murder, too, because its use risks denying the joined sperm and ovum a place to implant, thus ending new life. Deciding to forego prenatal care - even if it's for benign reason - is criminal child neglect. And we'll have to start having funerals and insurance policy payouts for miscarriages. That is, if we're going to be intellectually consistent.

I don't agree with late term abortions. (I think that's why I was so sickened by D's situation, because the baby was viable, which makes it worse by degrees for me). But unless we're going to turn how we handle birth control and some other things on their head we need to be pretty careful about how we define and regulate the treatment of new life.

Is my position pro-choice? I suppose it is, Luke, because I think there's a point that we have to painfully be allowed to put our own rights and situations above that of the fetus. But that's the same thing people do when they decide not to get prenatal care and risk losing the baby. That's pro-choice, too, which is why the pro-choicers in the Salon article spoke out against forcing women to get prenatal care.

Morgan said...

"I haven't settled on where I stand yet, but it is clear in my mind that late term babies are as human as you or I, and deserve rights."

Would that right include medical care if they need it? And how do you know an unborn baby is in trouble if you don't monitor its development?

I would be willing to bet that if your neighbor allowed their child to die of pneumonia without taking him to a doctor on religious grounds, you'd be a lot less charitable than you've been of D's. But I'm at a loss how - if you believe a late term baby deserves the same protection as a you or I- how you can excuse the decision not to get prenatal care.

It's funny, quite a few people have said this whole thing is about my wanting to win a debate. As I've stated several times, that's a moot point because there is no way *anyone* can come out of this feeling like a victor. What you see as a fight I see as an analysis of what was an avoidable tragedy. There's only one loser in all this and that was D's baby.

Roland said...

No Morgan, there are many losers. I wonder what the opinion of the fetus would be, if it were allowed to be pro-choice?
What would happen if it came down to fetus or mother?
And horror of horrors, what if each shoce to honor the other higher than themselves?

Morgan said...

I just have one more question for you, Luke. D has said despite what happened, he would make the same decision to not get prenatal care for is wife if he had to do it all over again. This has, for me, been the one single most confusing thing for me when I try to justify his decision with the image of a grieving father.

I think we both probably agree that prenatal care is the best option and D has said that the day before his son's death there was enough concern for him and his wife to go to the hospital, where without the support of a primary caretaker they were sent away. What, if anything, do you make of his conviction that denying prenatal care was something he would do again.

I am NOT asking this in an effort to get you to criticize D. I'm genuinely curious because I must admit his insistence that he did the right thing is blocking what compassion I would like to have for him.

Roland, being as how you're equally level-headed, if you can address this, have at it.

Morgan said...

"No Morgan, there are many losers. I wonder what the opinion of the fetus would be, if it were allowed to be pro-choice?"

Roland, having harbored many a fetus I can tell you that every one of them was only concerned with their own survival. It mattered not when I was anemic. Or nauseous. The fetus continued to take what it needed. That's what a fetus does. It takes and it grows.
The fetus is not being evil or selfish, it's just being what it is - an organism intent on survival.

What would happen if it came down to fetus or mother?

If nothing is done, and her health fails they may both die. That is because the fetus is wholly dependent on her for survival until it reaches a point that it can survive outside the womb. But the road there may seriously compromise a woman's health, causing her to be hospitalized and possibly lose her job and - without support - her home. If she is fortunate enough to have support she may endure. If she does not, or if she and her partner decide that the risk is too great, they may choose to end the pregnancy before it is viable.
Not a pretty choice, but a very personal one.

Now, Amber says if she had to do it all again she would have the abortions anyway. Those who think she's being callous should remember that D would choose to not get prenatal care for his wife if he had to do it all again. I personally think they are both in the minority. Most women - and people who lose children that could have been saved through prenatal care - do wish the outcome had been different. At least I believe they probably do.

Roland said...

All I know Morgan is that without the great taxpayer funded insurance I get cuz I'ze po', I don't know how much care I could have afforded.
I also know that we don't know his circumstances. And he is basing his decision on all tangibles and intangibles involved.
We can make guesses and hypothesize until we're blue in the face (or green if you prefer :) ).
I would say he seems to have done all he could have to keep his baby safe.

I remember once a young mother actually hid her pregnancy from her folks, delivered said child and tossed him in the dumpster. I pity mother and child. It sucks that we have to make things look good and aren't allowed to be ourselves.

Morgan said...

For the record, Roland, our health care system sucks. Income-wise, we're in between, so we don't qualify for the taxpayer funded stuff yet can't really afford anything beyond the catostrophic policy that covers the piano dropping on our heads.

So every month I find a way each month to buy Alex's exorbidantly priced asthma medication and I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that while I have no problem going without what I need I will beg, borrow, steal or whore to pay for the medicine she needs. And my dear, I have done all of the above at one point or another.

And if that failed I'd forego an income and plead poverty to qualify for Medicaid. Why? Because that is my kid and I love her beyond words. I've loved her since before she was born and I will love her always.

My eldest is about to have her wisdom teeth taken out. Her dad and I will pay her bill, no matter what it takes.

I know, not everyone is the same. Some people take risks others wouldn't dream of. I don't have a problem with risk takers if they want to risk their own health and safety. But I have to admit to having problems with people who take risks with the health of their minor children, especially in the name of religion. Kids shouldn't be the victims of religious delusions or extremism, whether it's the Jehovah's Witness who denies his kid a blood transfusion or the fundamentalist Christian who trusts that God will provide a healthy outcome to a high-risk pregnancy.

The very option available to women considering abortion - free medical care and help in exchange for adoption - is available to the pro-life couple who finds they can't afford medical care. It just seems to me that if a couple can't provide health care for their unborn they would be willing to set the example by placing the baby for adoption with a couple willing to pay for the care that would remove that risk.

Of course, this may prompt a discussion on how hard it is to give a baby away to someone else, which pro-lifers always contend should be a easy and "brave" choice for single mothers.

Just my thoughts.

thimscool said...

“This is one area where you guys just don't have a clue.”

That is debatable. I may not know first hand what it is like to bear a child, but I have more than one clue. In any case, I certainly don’t have a clue what it is like to have my whole family chopped up by an axe murderer. But I can still say that I want laws to prevent revenge killing by the families of axe murderer victims. Without first-hand knowledge of their struggle, I would pass a law to restrict their behavior. Wouldn’t you?

~~~

“I think there's a point that we have to painfully be allowed to put our own rights and situations above that of the fetus. But that's the same thing people do when they decide not to get prenatal care and risk losing the baby.”

As one of my least favorite presidents would say, “Well, there you go again.” No they are not the same thing. They are similar in one sense, in that people are making choices that affect the health of the baby. But they are also quite different. I keep repeating myself because you keep making this same error in logic. There is no moral equivalence.

Same thing goes for smoking, drinking, sky diving, or any of the other things that mothers shouldn’t do during pregnancy. I do not advocate these behaviors, but they are not in the same ball park as deliberately choosing to kill the baby.

~~~

“Would that right include medical care if they (the unborn) need it?”

To be blunt, my answer is no. I do not believe that we have a right to health care, and nor does an unborn baby. We have the rights of life and liberty. We have the right of free speech. We do not have the right to health care.

That does not mean that I consider it optional, or a privilege. I would agree that parents have an obligation to provide the best care for their children that they can reasonably afford. For the record, I also believe that a society as rich as ours has an obligation to provide health care for all people. But that is very different from saying it is a right, whereas the baby has a right to life and the state is compelled to protect this right.

~~~

“I would be willing to bet that if your neighbor allowed their child to die of pneumonia without taking him to a doctor on religious grounds, you'd be a lot less charitable than you've been of D's.”

First of all, I will say that I think D probably made an error in this case (although I don’t know for sure, since I don’t know the details). But once again, you are trying to shoehorn a moral equivalence. The Christian Scientist neighbor you are positing knows their child is sick, whereas D did not, from what I know. His wife has had several children previously (perhaps without complication). Apparently, they realized that there might be a problem and they sought help, but were too late. There is no way of knowing whether a full program of prenatal care would not also have been too late, because sometimes babies die in spite of the best efforts of care providers. The neighbors that listen to their child cough to death would get a stern talking to from me, if the child was still alive. If the child was already dead when I found this out, I would shun them. But I would not compound their grief with a lecture on their hypocrisy.

~~~

“What, if anything, do you make of his conviction that denying prenatal care was something he would do again.”

I did not see the comments before Erik removed the post. My suspicion is that he said that because he felt flustered at someone who publicly shamed him while ripping the stitches out of a still healing wound. But I don’t know.

Amber said...

Most women - and people who lose children that could have been saved through prenatal care - do wish the outcome had been different. At least I believe they probably do.

Actually, that hasn't been my *personal* experience at all. All the women I've talked to in person who have had an abortion say that they'd do it again if the circumstances were the same.

That's right, all of them. I'm not exaggerating. I didn't run a SURVEY or anything *laughs* but I've been surprised myself at the response. This is from my friends, co-workers/aquaintances/my daughter's friends/my son's fiance's friends/etc., etc.

And they are living their lives just fine today; no undue emotionally suffering, no nightmares, or "what ifs", no hand-wringing, "what have I done", etc.

They are happily married/have kids/have moved on/etc.

But, and this is VERY key, I've always had to open up about *my* abortion first.

No woman has EVER ONCE offered this very private information without me admitting I had an abortion first. Whether they were a close friend or just someone I got together with after work or whatever.

Most women are understandably pretty quiet about this.

(Except for me, but you know me, Morgan, I'll talk about everything I've ever done, lol! :))

Their biggest issue when we really get down to the nitty-gritty about our feelings about it seems to be that they feel they are *supposed* to be more upset and guilty when they really are.

Most of all, they are so very relieved to have been able to share with another woman, that's for sure, like it's a weight off their shoulders.

As for the puppy thing, yeah, even my Dan who is the love of my life and the most wonderful husband on the face of the earth, cannot quite understand what a woman goes through during pregnancy and delivery.

He is pro-choice but with reservations. More reservations than I have.

I've tried to tell him it's like "walking through the shadow of death", in a way, bringing a new life into the world. That it's life-changing and not always in a good way, that it's serious serious shit.

He still doesn't "get" it, I can tell by the look on his face. :)
I still love him to pieces, but he's never going to understand the level of fear and pain and that loss of that certain something you'll never have again.

My ex did understand, of all people. He was there for both my deliveries, the whole time. With my daughter I was in labor for three days without any painkillers (I believed back then it might hurt the baby) and I can tell you that it wasn't pleasant.

And as I already said, when I had my son they thought everything was okay so they left us with him. Then I started bleeding and bleeding; it wouldn't stop. He went to get a nurse and couldn't find one. I still can remember how much blood started pumping out of me and I was alone; I gathered up the sheet to try and stop it and it turned so dark so fast. Next thing I know all these doctors showed up and a nurse shoved our son into my husband's arms and they were sticking things into me and it was a blur!

The weirdest thing is, I didn't feel any pain at all! A nurse asked me if I felt faint and I said no, then next thing I knew I started to pass out! And I felt cold. Next thing I remember, the tone in the room changed and it was like they had collectively sighed in relief.

It seemed all very fast to me and in no time at all, it seemed we were alone again, just the three of us. (Although you better believe I got checked on a lot after that, lol!)

I looked over at my husband and he was staring at me. I asked for our son back and he could barely move his arms to give Ray over to me because he had been so rigid with fear for me for so long; his muscles were cramped.

He told me later that he was so afraid I was dying and it was so horrible for him.

So he did not hesitate when I said I wanted an abortion the fourth time and he never said anything about what a woman chooses to do again, except to say it was her business and her business alone whether she wanted to bear a child.

Perhaps he's unusual, I don't know.

I do know that it's said that if men had to bear children, we'd have abortion clinics on every block and day-after pills given out like candy. ;-P

Amber said...

OH! One more thing (sorry to be so vocal but I just remembered this)

Before it sounds like I live in Abortion Central or something (Heh!), and we have abortions about as often as other women do their nails, remember, I do live in Northern California, in a fairly affluent area of NorCal and also, probably MUCH more important, nobody who has opened up to me about this has been religious.

I mean, I've discussed this topic with many religious types, including my brother who is a minister, and others of various religions, but nobody who has told me THEY actually had an abortion was religious at all.

Not saying religious types don't have them too; I know some have and they are crushed for having broken a law of their God and I feel very badly for them because it so obviously hurts them deeply inside and, you know...that whole shunning and shame thing from others of that religion. :(

But to me, and to the women who shared with me, it was just a matter-of-fact decision. Not having a religious base, shame doesn't come into it at all.

Now, I'm off to participate in our Nightly Satan Worshipping Rites featuring a baby on a spit.

Kidding!

(or IS she??)

:)

Sorry, I understand I'm walking in on hurt feelings and high temper, here. A little levity seemed appropriate, maybe. :)

Or not! Ouch! Stop throwing things! ;-P

Roland said...

Morgan, why should we all get health care?
And if we should, who should pay for it?
And what should be done to make it more affordable? (I mean besides me digging into my neighbor's pocket through taxes)
Before WWII the income tax didn't exist. Healthcare wasn't as good either, but it was more due to lack of advances in medicine. After WWII, instead of help for the poor being voluntary, it started becoming mandatory. Slowly at first, but it did happen. Why is everyone required to do the 'right' thing for the poor, but not the 'right' thing when it comes to life? I understand the choice of 'me over the not fully formed human'. But I can't condone it. Life is precious.

Luke, you state things eloquently. Keep it up. :)

Amber, very interesting and even heart warming. I won't throw rocks at you. I may disagree, but it isn't my life to run. I appreciate your sense of humor. :)

Roland said...

One more thing struck me (no, not Morgan's rocks :) )

"But to me, and to the women who shared with me, it was just a matter-of-fact decision. Not having a religious base, shame doesn't come into it at all."

Religious people shame. And that in itself is a shame. Because the church is supposed to be a safe place. A haven to go to in times of need. Instead it has become as performance driven as society today.

Amber, have fun at your, ah... , party?

Morgan said...

"The neighbors that listen to their child cough to death would get a stern talking to from me, if the child was still alive. If the child was already dead when I found this out, I would shun them. But I would not compound their grief with a lecture on their hypocrisy."

Hmmmm. That's interesting that you would shun them. Why? Is not shunning perhaps the strongest form of social disapproval?

If my friends - the ones who ride around with their kids unrestrained in a minivan - were to lose their kids tomorrow in an accident I certainly wouldn't lecture them on their hypocrisy *unless* I heard them lecturing someone about the responsibility of parents to keep their children safe. At that point I might just go up and say, "Excuse me, who are you to lecture others when you didn't bother to keep your own kids safe? Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black?"
If their reaction was, "Well, I did wrong by not putting my kids in safety seats and I'm now hoping to help others avoid the same fate," I could respect that.
But if their reaction was that of D, who said the equivelant of, "Hell yeah, I left my kid unrestrained in the car and I'd do it all over again," then I'd have to say that I wouldn't have an ounce of guilt about bringing the irony to their attention, which is just what I did in this case.

"I did not see the comments before Erik removed the post. My suspicion is that he said that because he felt flustered at someone who publicly shamed him while ripping the stitches out of a still healing wound. But I don’t know."

I'm at a loss to see how someone can feel so flustered that they'd say they'd take the same negligent course that compromised their child's life. It seems ilike a pretty cold way to save face.

Morgan said...

"Morgan, why should we all get health care? And if we should, who should pay for it?"

Roland, right now my tax money goes to fund a lot of things I'm not thrilled about, like killing people in Iraq. If I had a choice I think I'd rather pay to get some poor kid's broken arm set than drop a bomb on an Iraqi village.
But look at me, talking crazy again....

Morgan said...

"But to me, and to the women who shared with me, it was just a matter-of-fact decision. Not having a religious base, shame doesn't come into it at all."

Living in the Bible Belt may have something to do with the regret expressed by the women I know who have had abortions. But there are, I'm sure, a lot who keep the decisions to themselves and have the same attitude.

I guess your approach is kind of like D's as relates to his lack of prenatal care. My pregnancy, my body, my choice. Did it and would do it again.

The difference is that Amber is honest about her pro-choice stance, and D is splitting hairs. Luke thinks this is an illogical conclusion but I do not. I think we've all seen those bumper stickers that say,
"It's a child, not a choice." Perhaps there should be one that says,
"It's a child, not a crap shoot."
Treating a child as either is inconsistent with a pro-life stance.


"Religious people shame. And that in itself is a shame. Because the church is supposed to be a safe place. A haven to go to in times of need. Instead it has become as performance driven as society today."

Amen. One of the local Catholic churches here has a free health clinic open to anyone. They do everything from denistry to prenatal screenings to bloodwork. All you have to do to qualify is walk in off the street. The Episcopaleans run the soup kitchen and homeless shelter.

And they provide these services without requiring a statement of faith from the people they help.
The fundamentalists here? They don't do Jack Shit other than build bigger and fancier churches, except for the Baptists who built that halfway house in the next town. You can go, but you have to sign a statement saying you worship Jesus.

Of course, they also stage pro-life rallies, but if a mother needed financial support for her pregnancy or prenatal care, the local fundamentalists would be the last ones to help her.

thimscool said...

Morgan,

To carry your analogy further, what would you say if your reckless friends told someone not to shoot their kid in the head?

Would you say, "You know Fred, you may as well have shot Johny in the head when you didn't put him in a car seat and ran that red light. You're a damn hypocrite." ?

Again and again you return to the concept that there is some moral equivalence between the choice to abort a pregnancy and the choice to provide a sub standard level of prenatal care. And again I point it out, in frustration. You don't want to acknowledge the point.

That's fine. State it again if you like... I won't keep correcting you.

thimscool said...

Nicole and I are very careful about securing Atticus in his car seat. But each of us remembers traveling unsecured in our family wagons when we were young'uns.

That doesn't make my parents or in-laws hypocrites if they suggested that people shouldn't kill babies.

Roland said...

Was it an active choice?
Amber made that.
D did not.

If I were the creator of the Muppets and got sick, but kept putting off my visit to the doctor, because 'I'm not that sick' And then later died of easily treatable pneumonia.
Did I just commit suicide?
Or did I make some poor decisions?

"Roland, right now my tax money goes to fund a lot of things I'm not thrilled about, like killing people in Iraq. If I had a choice I think I'd rather pay to get some poor kid's broken arm set than drop a bomb on an Iraqi village."

You want a choice in what charities you money goes to help.
So do I.
But there I go talking crazy again as well....

Morgan said...

"Would you say, "You know Fred, you may as well have shot Johny in the head when you didn't put him in a car seat and ran that red light. You're a damn hypocrite." ?"

I said earlier that there are degrees. Perhaps you missed that; I don't know.

I do know if someone tells me that they are pro-life and that unborn human life is sacred and equal to the life of a child that's already been born, they discredit themselves if they willfully risk that life of their baby when other options are available.

As to your example, if the person who left their kid unrestrained in the car and had it killed was telling me about someone who shot their kid and said, "Those parents who shot those kids obviously didn't care that much about him. If they had he'd still be alive." I'd be thinking, "Well, I could say the same thing about you."

Obviously one is a case of active murder and the other is a case of fatal neglect, but don't you as a parent try to foresee and avoid risks that would harm or kill Atticus? I know I take those measures for my children, which is why I lock the medicine cabinets, keep my sewing scissors out of reach, strap my kid into the car seat even if I'm driving a few blocks and got prenatal care when I was pregnant. These aren't extraordinary measures, Luke, thes are just typical measure that responsible, loving parents take.

You yourself said you would shun someone whose medical neglect of their child led to its death. Obviously, you wouldn't shun the parent if their child fell ill and died despite their efforts to avoid and treat illness. But you would shun someone who refused to even provide basic care. Why? Because you'd disapprove of what they did. And you'd disapprove because you know what they did was wrong. And I bet you'd have a hard time taking them seriously if they lectured you on childcare while expressing pride in the medical neglect that contributed to their kid's death.

You accuse me of equating neglect with murder, which I have not done. I could easily turn your analogy on your head in the same flawed and accuse you of approving of any mistreatment or neglect of a child that doesn't arise to the level of murder. But I wouldn't because that would be stupid. Just as I know that you do not approve of neglect, you know damn well that I have not equated neglect with murder. I've simply stated it is a risky choice that people who truly value life DO NOT willingly take.

"That doesn't make my parents or in-laws hypocrites if they suggested that people shouldn't kill babies."

Good Lord, Luke. My parents didn't buckle us in, either. My mother also had the ocassional glass of wine and took aspirin and other stuff the doctors now say pregnant women should't take. I think we're all more conscious now of child safety, which is why I bet if your folks do pick Atticus up and take him somewhere they put him in a car seat. Why? Because they recognize we're in a more safety conscious world and they'd do nothing to compromise the safety of their grandson's life, because he is precious to him and they value his life.

Morgan said...

Sorry for the typos in the last post, by the way. I'm mutli-tasking this morning.

Morgan said...

"Was it an active choice?
Amber made that.
D did not."

They both made an active choice. Amber made a risk to end the life of the baby growing inside her. D made a choice to deny medical care to the child growing inside his wife. Amber's decision carried the guarantee of death. D's decision carried the risk of death - an elavated risk, I might add, given his wife's age and pre-existing medical condition. Sadly, both outcomes were the same. The pregnancies were aborted, Amber's in early term and D's in late term.

"If I were the creator of the Muppets and got sick, but kept putting off my visit to the doctor, because 'I'm not that sick' And then later died of easily treatable pneumonia.
Did I just commit suicide?
Or did I make some poor decisions?"

I've said this before but since you missed it, I'll say it again, Roland. As an adult, Jim Henson has every right to neglect his own health, even to the point of death if he chooses. But he wouldn't have the right to neglect the health of his minor child to the point of death. He has a responbility to provide protection for the child he decided to father.

"You want a choice in what charities you money goes to help.
So do I.
But there I go talking crazy again as well...."

I just find it funny how so many on the right (not you) raise holy hell at the idea of tax money going to pay for some poor kids eyeglasses but support the mounting debt of this war.
I see a lot of hand-wringing about the idea of universal health care, and about how it will take money from one person to pay for the care of someone else. I know I'm an oddity, but I'm not all that attached to money and would feel a lot better about my taxes going to better the lives of Americans than destroying and ending the lives of foreigners.
The Sean Hannity types point to the lines of people waiting for heart surgery in Canada, but most people who advocate for universal health care aren't looking at the need for heart surgery, but for the need for parents to be able to take their kids to the pediatrician for a bad cold before it turns into pneumonia, just simple stuff that would make a world of difference. No, I wouldn't mind paying for your kid to get that kind of care. Your turn for crazy talk...

thimscool said...

“You yourself said you would shun someone whose medical neglect of their child led to its death. Obviously, you wouldn't shun the parent if their child fell ill and died despite their efforts to avoid and treat illness.”

I said that I would shun someone that listened to their child cough to death (i.e. knew something was wrong) and *refused* treatment. That is *qualitatively* different than someone whose child died from an illness of which they were unaware, whether or not they made the best possible effort to diagnose or anticipate the problem. That is not a matter of degree. It is a question of *intent*.

Go ahead and imply that I am being stupid Morgan. I don’t mind, because it is manifestly incorrect. You are conflating neglect and murder, by implying that only a matter of degree separates them, when in fact they are clearly, qualitatively, morally distinct.

thimscool said...

"Amber's decision carried the guarantee of death. D's decision carried the risk of death - an elavated risk, I might add, given his wife's age and pre-existing medical condition. Sadly, both outcomes were the same."

And I'll say it again, because stupid people like to repeat themselves so much... Amber intended to kill the baby, D did not.

Morgan said...

Thimscool, so you exonerate people based on inent? The courts don't, which is why judges sentence and punish people not just for first degree, premeditated murder, but for second degree murder.
The drunk driver who plows into a child at the bus stop and kills her didn't start out his day planning to kill a little girl, right? But actions have consequences and the court recognizes that if he made a *choice* to engage in behavior he knew might end up putting someone else at risk. So when he's found guilty of second-degree murder or vehicular homicide or whatever are you going to be the one to step up and say, "Wait a minute! Let that man go! He didn't *mean* to kill her!"

Somehow, I just don't think so.

Again, you're trying to lump everything together while I'm pointing out that while there are degrees of severity between what Amber and D's choices, there are also degrees of responsibility.

thimscool said...

No. I do not exonerate people based on intent or lack thereof. However, I say that it makes the two situations incomparable.

Both first and second degree murder were intended crimes. The difference there is a matter of premeditation. You are thinking of manslaughter, which is also a crime but of a lesser degree. I don’t know for a fact that the drunk driver would be convicted of vehicular homicide, but certainly could be convicted of vehicular manslaughter.

In order to prove manslaughter in a court of law, you would need to demonstrate criminal negligence, and I doubt that it would stick in the case of a parent that neglected to buckle up their kids or get prenatal care. In any case, I would say that in both cases they are being negligent to one degree or another. I do not exonerate them, but I would say that within each category, there are certainly matters of degree. That does not mean that the categories themselves are comparable.

For example, I would never call Amber a murderer, or a baby-killer, or whatever. I believe that, while she intentionally took a human life, that life was inextricably tied to hers and in the latter case possibly even a threat. I would say that it is unfortunate that she made that decision in the first episode, and I would have rather she decided to carry the baby to term and put it up for adoption, not withstanding that “I just don’t get it”. But I understand that, because our society does not really value life, it would have been very tough to make that decision, and forgo the immense costs and opportunity costs of making that decision. So I see the gray areas surrounding the issue of early abortions.

But I do not think it is in any way comparable to neglecting to seek prenatal care.

thimscool said...

Meanwhile, because you do think they are comparable, you had no compunction about calling D a hypocrite and suggesting that he was responsible for the death of his baby.

You certainly don't know that. But we certainly do know that Amber was responsible for the death of her baby.

Meanwhile, D is distraught, mostly because of the memory of the pain, but also probably for his own second guessing, which you have carelessly inflamed.

Maybe it is because you are a woman that you just can't understand. But as a man I could understand if D, backed into a corner by an 'aggressive' debater that was rubbing salt into his wound, would refuse to admit any mistake so as not to give ground to your assault. You can all that stupid too, but as men it is our birthright to be stupid and inflexible. What are you gonna do about it?

thimscool said...

I would suggest a written apology. But I'm a stupid doo-doo-head man.

thimscool said...

"How did this happen? How did I lose my taste for battle?

I think it is because as the child of warriors

I remember well watching them exchange fire

until, becoming impervious to arrows,

they switched to stones - the only thing

that could bruise battle-scarred facades."

Morgan said...

At this point, this whole debate is getting kind of circular. Again I will try to explain what you persist in overlooking. I am addressing "D" not just as a negligent parent, but as an self-described pro-lifer who put his choice to deny his child prenatal care above the child's welfare. That's a pro-choice stance, supported by the very people who advocate for abortion. It's a choice first, a child second.

Now, I don't know if this directly caused D's son's death. D said a virus killed his son, but I do suspect that his neglect stacked the odds against that child and may have been a contributing factor. (For an analogy, if a drunk driver slams rear ends a woman's car and sends the her unrestrained child through through the windsheild, technically the drunk driver killed her child, but she contributed to the death by not taking measures to lower the risk of injury in an accident.)

"Meanwhile, D is distraught, mostly because of the memory of the pain, but also probably for his own second guessing, which you have carelessly inflamed."

You forget, "D" denies he is second guessing anything. D says the opposite. D says he'd do it all over again if he had to. You're vesting him with regret he apparently does NOT feel.

"Maybe it is because you are a woman that you just can't understand. But as a man I could understand if D, backed into a corner by an 'aggressive' debater that was rubbing salt into his wound, would refuse to admit any mistake so as not to give ground to your assault. You can all that stupid too, but as men it is our birthright to be stupid and inflexible. What are you gonna do about it?"

Maybe it is just a "poopy-head-guy" thing, and not being a guy or even that good a Christian I'm probably just talking out of school here, but where is the shame in a little humility? We're not talking about a mistake that cost him some money, but a mistake that may have cost a little boy his life.
I'm not asking "D" to apologize or explain himself to me, but - Geesh!- when you think of the people who read these blogs it does seem like for the sake of anyone else considering following in his footsteps he'd admit that he took a terrible risk that he would discourage anyone else from following suit.

It does appear the debate does continue over religious extremists who refuse to provide medical care to their children:

http://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/fundienazis/col_children.htm

It will be interesting to see where it goes, and what officials will end up doing to safeguard children from religious wing nuts.

You'll need to explain your last comment. Are you suggesting I issue a written apology to "D"? For what? For questioning how he could defend a decision to deny his baby prenatal care? If anyone is owed an apology, it's the baby.

Morgan said...

"How did this happen? How did I lose my taste for battle?

I think it is because as the child of warriors

"I remember well watching them exchange fire

until, becoming impervious to arrows,

they switched to stones - the only thing

that could bruise battle-scarred facades."

Nice try, Luke, but some things are still worth battling for. I happen to think battling the faith-based neglect of innocent children is one of them. When my dog is pregnant, I take her to the vet. If I can convince one couple that their unborn child is worth the same level of care as a litter of puppies, then it would have been worth pulling out that heavy artillery.

I have all ideas that you got prenatal care for Atticus, and will do so for any future children. I think we both know why, and it's not because you lack faith in God, but because- as you said - WE are God's hands.

Amber said...

Just to clarify: Amber intended to kill the baby, D did not.

Remember, to me, I didn't "kill" anything. It isn't a "baby" to me until it's out and ready to go.

It's like saying if I had a kidney taken out, I "killed" my kidney.

Mind, I'm not trying to change YOUR minds; you guys are all set in your beliefs and I respect that. I'm a murderer; to you, I "killed" my baby. I realize that to you, I sound absolutely insane.

To you.

But to me, it's mildly amusing to read someone say, "you killed your kidney". You know? And yes yes I've heard the whole "once the egg is fertilized, it's a baby" blah blah, that's the beginning of life, if you leave it be it will GROW into a baby, blah blah blah etc., etc. and I'm never going to buy it.

It wasn't a "baby" three weeks along but still just a mass of protoplasm and simply another part of my body.

Again, I'm not trying to change YOUR minds or your opinions at all, you guys are just as set in your belief as I am in mine; I'm simply clarifing what my thinking is. :)

As for the Satanic party last night...consensus was; baby tastes like chicken! lol!

Actually, my 28 y/o daughter came by for a cozy little dinner since my husband takes classes Thursday nights to regain his paramedic license and doesn't get home until 10:30 or so, so we had quite a nice time.

I mentioned this discussion and since she knows I'm DYING for grandchildren, she grinned at me and said if she chose to get an abortion at this point, I'd probably kidnap her and force her to bear the child.

I said true, but then, you see, it's all so relative. ;-P

Anonymous said...

69 comments. Wow! I've read through them and it seems at this point Morgan is right and the same points are being repeated. I can see both sides in a way but do agree with Morgan that "being a man" is a rather flimsy excuse for sticking by a decision with such terrible consequences. I have known men who didn't feel less like men for admitting that they did something wrong. D did make an awful mistake even if he never meant for it to turn out the way it did. I do not think he will ever be at peace until he admits that he was wrong. I think being in denial about it will only drag his grief out and make no mistake that poor man must be grieving. I grieved when I lost one of my dogs, for weeks and weeks I grieved. That pain must be just a drop in the bucket compared to losing a baby so I just cannot imagine. I wish him well.
God Bless You,
Margaret

thimscool said...

Morgan, if I extend your point of view to its logical conclusion, then no one can argue against abortion unless they sell all their belongings and put the mother in a hospital, hooked up to fetal monitors until the baby is born. Unless someone takes every possible pain to ensure that they have a healthy baby, then they are choosing to do less than they could and therefore they might as well kill the baby (or at least not object when someone else wants to do so).

That is lunatic. You can’t possibly believe that. So I guess you’re saying that to be pro-life you must be pro-prenatal care. I may agree with that, except that in the current situation, if you can’t afford health insurance/care, then what do you do? Presumably, if D had plenty of money laying around, he would have gotten pre-natal care for his child.

I’m not gonna waste a lot more time on the screwballs that actively refuse medical treatment because it would ‘violate God’s will’ or some such nonsense. But I am curious why you are suggesting that this is what D was doing… I don’t believe he is a Christian Scientist. Do you? If you don’t, then please reflect that he may actually regret the decision, or at least bemoan his circumstance, and wouldn’t want to be compared to such people in an attempt to get him to moderate his views on abortion.

Hello?

thimscool said...

Well, Margaret... I really appreciate what you said.

But I would point out that he was probably pressed further into denial by this episode. I did not read the comments at Erik's place, but I can see that the result is not pretty.

thimscool said...

"I happen to think battling the faith-based neglect of innocent children is one of them. "

So do I. But that is not what you were doing. You were arguing that someone is a hypocrite, and should shut up about abortion rights. That is the discussion here.

The quote above is related, but it is misdirection to mention it now. Maybe you should make another post about snake-handlers later.

Morgan said...

Silly Amber, haven't you learned the Right Wing Rules yet? I'd think they'd be apparent after reading this exchange:

1. If a woman has an abortion, she is a Murderer. If a man's decision to deny his child prenatal care contributes to his baby's death, he's a Martyr. Bonus points if says it was God's decision. Or his wife's.

2. If a woman defends her right to an abortion and says she'd do it again, it's because she's a Cold and Uncaring Whore. If a man defends his decision to deny his child prenatal care, loses that child and says he'd do it all over again, it's because he's a Wounded and Grieving Saint.

3. Thou shalt not question a pro-lifer, because just saying one is a pro-lifer should be enough. No other proof is necessary.

4. Hurting someone's feelings is a far worse sin than child neglect. Even if the person claims to be perfectly comfortable with said neglect, we must pretend that he really isn't since that doesn't fit the image we want to have of him. (See Rule #2)

Margaret, you are right. There is little else that can be said at this point, especially under these Rules.

thimscool said...

Amber, I don't think you're crazy or satanic.

But I can't imagine how you can think of a fetus is the same as a kidney.

If you don't mind me asking, what do you think of late term abortion, after the 'fetus' is capable of living without the mothers involvement in any way?

Do you think that birth is what endows a person with the right to life?

thimscool said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thimscool said...

I am not right-winger.

I am unsure about my take on first term abortion.

I think that child neglect is a worse sin than hurting someones feelings, although I am not sure whether or not that applies in this situation.

I don't appreciate your passive aggression. If you think I'm setting the "Rules" of this discussion, then exercise your prerogative to ban me.

Morgan said...

"Morgan, if I extend your point of view to its logical conclusion, then no one can argue against abortion unless they sell all their belongings and put the mother in a hospital, hooked up to fetal monitors until the baby is born. Unless someone takes every possible pain to ensure that they have a healthy baby, then they are choosing to do less than they could and therefore they might as well kill the baby (or at least not object when someone else wants to do so)."

And you're saying do it all or do nothing. That's stupid for reasons that I don't even have to explain to a man as intelligent as you are. At this point you're just grasping at straws Luke. There's a difference between taking reasonable care and doing what D did, which was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I'm advocating REASONABLE care, Luke, and reasonable care does not have to be invasive or overbearing. I've delivered under the care of midwives and have always been comfortable with that decision. The midwives were trained to bump my care up to the next level IF INDICATED> See, you start off with minimal care and go on to something more advanced if you need to. But you don't just do NOTHING.

If you'd read the debate at Erik's you'd have seen that D changed his story several times after being questioned about a number of inconsistencies. (That's really why Erik pulled the post, I think; D's own words made him out to be reckless, and of course his friend wouldn't want to leave them up for everyone to read.) There were reasonable things D and his wife could have done even if they'd adequately educated themselves about possible danger signs, and their failure to do that leads me to believe they didn't even really inform themselves of possible danger signs, which is just inconceivable to any thinking person.

So when I criticize him for this, it's with a bit more knowledge than you have. You're striclty motivated by pity for D. Callous me, I'm more motivated by pity for a child who came pretty damn close to being saved and would have if D and his wife had had the benefit of a midwife or physician to advocate for them and order the routine tests that would have detected fetal stress.

D wanted to believe that despite his wife's advanced age and pre-existing medical conditions, God would give them a healthy baby without expecting any personal responsibility from them, kind of the "manna from Heaven" approach.
Hopefully they will remain in the fringe minority and be unable to convince others to follow in their footsteps.

Morgan said...

"I don't appreciate your passive aggression. If you think I'm setting the "Rules" of this discussion, then exercise your prerogative to ban me."

I've never banned anybody Luke, or removed a post because it incriminated myself or one of my pals, or take any of the other actions some bloggers do to stifle or revise debate.

I never said the Rules applied to you, but they certainly do apply to a number of people who have contributed to this discussion.

Now, please, come up with something better than "You're mean," won't you?

thimscool said...

Morgan, you're out of control.

Note that in the first sentence of that quote I acknowledged that it was reductio ad absurdum . And what did I say in the very next paragraph?

In your last two comments you have left the reservation, so I'll leave it at that. Good day.

Morgan said...

"But that is not what you were doing. You were arguing that someone is a hypocrite, and should shut up about abortion rights. That is the discussion here."

Wrong. Again. D. can yammer about abortion rights all he wants to. That's his right. He just can't expect some of us to take him seriously as a pro-lifer. That's our right.

Anonymous said...

Does timscool's leaving mean he could not come up with anything other than insults? I hope not because I was following you there quite well Morgan even though I do not believe I am as smart as timscool is. Per the sexist angle which I know timscool will disagree with, I do believe Morgan that one of the reasons you frustrate men who debate you is because you don't fold or give in to them. It seems aggression is OK in men but reviled in a woman. I disagree that you lost control. You seemed to stick to your guns but it is always easier for a man to paint a woman as crazy than to admit he lacks the capacity to dominate her or change her mind. I think you and timscool are both very stubborn which is why you both want the last word. If the topic here were different it would be easy to find some amusement in all this but then I remember it is about a death and it sobers me.
That is all for now and I won't be checking back in because frankly these heated discussions tire me out. Isn't that sad that I am so out of shape that an argument tires me? I need to start walking again. Please check your email later. I have sent you a link and it will please you to know it has nothing to do with abortion. It's the banana pudding recipe.
God Bless You,
Margaret

Roland said...

Luke,

I understand what you are saying even if everyone else here thinks you and I are wrong. Your heart is in the right place.

Amber,

I may not agree with you on this particular issue, but you are acting kindly and benevolently. And just so you know, eveything tasted like chicken. ;)

Morgan,

You just want to be right. There are more out there than I would have thought that 'expected' this from you.
You are treating D with comtempt, because he treated others that way without understanding their situation. It's kind of like, "Well, he started it!" Very immature way to deal with it. I hate to admit it, but my respectometer :) has been adjusted by this. You can disagree with D all you want, but when you stoop to treating someone badly because 'they' did it. Who is the one who looks foolish now?

Roland said...

Margaret,

I have to go to work. So if I don't respond to anything in the next 10 hrs, I hope you will allow me a little leeway.
And sticking to your guns is great, no matter who gets hurt, right Margaret?

Morgan said...

Margaret, I don't think Luke is sexist at all. For one thing, I've seen him argue on enough progressive issues to say he's the antithesis of a sexist. For another, he's married to a beautiful red-head, and I can honestly say that only secure men can attract beautiful red heads and go on to produce beautiful red-headed sons.

I do think I frustrate Luke, but he frustrates me, too, which is why we end up talking in loops in hopes that we'll rope the other one into agreeing with us. You are right, Margaret, that we are both stubborn.

Roland, you may adjust your Respectometer all you want. I happen to believe that yours is adjusted a bit further to the "right" than mine is. And FYI, I'm aware of just who the people who "expected" my reaction are; predictably they are the same ones who have taken issue with me for writing erotica and/or advocating positions they consider liberal, the same ones who have disagreed when I stuck to my guns on other heretical points, such as (horrors!) tolerance for gay people or compassion for the poor. It's a familiar conservative crowd and the one for whom the "Rules" were written. If you want to align yourself with that Ann Coulter crowd go right ahead, for they are oh-so-much more compassionate. ;-) Just make sure you wear a bell so that if you get separated from the rest of the flock they can find you.

Not to speak for Margaret, but I will always stick to my guns before I'll be shamed into saying what is wrong is right, especially where my belief in prenatal care is concerned.

No one has yet to come forward and offer a defense to the decision by a man not to provide prenatal care for his wife's high risk pregnancy, because it remains and indefensible decision. And no attempt to cloud the issue by focusing on personalities can hide that fact, Roland, no matter how hard you try.

Morgan said...

Margaret, thanks for the recipe!!!!! Cream cheese! - that's what I left out when I tried it.

Anonymous said...

Roland if you are truly concerned about D's pain have you thought about suggesting that he get therapy for himself and his wife to help them come to terms with what happened to their baby? It seems that D truly needs this if timscool is right and he is mired in denial althoug I disagree that anyone can blame Morgan for that. I worry that he will not be able to heal unless he is encouraged to acknowledge that more could have been done for the baby he lost. I do not believe there is such a thing as closure but I do believe that denying a reality is toxic. Granted D can't be pushed into it as Morgan has attempted to do but if you and your friends really care about him why not focus on helping him instead of focusing on Morgan? Sometimes I think it is because you all like to fight as much as you say she does.
Morgan I'm glad you got the recipe. Let me know how the kids like it.
God Bless You,
Margaret

CJ said...

This kind of thing just makes me sick to read. My second child was diagnosed with a heart defect before he was born. It was out of the blue and unexpected because the wife and I were both healthy, in our thirties and already had a daughter delivered after a normal pregnancy.
Because of the early diagnosis my wife was monitored carefully until the doctors delivered our son by C-section on 12/15/94 and gave him the treatment he needed. What's better, we were prepared for the situation because we knew in advance so we were emotionally prepared for his special needs and care.
I consider the technology that helped us a gift from God and there's no excuse for denying a baby the chance to be born healthy this day in age. Religious nuts like this guy give the rest of us Christians a black eye. God does not demand that we let our kids down to prove our faith. And anybody who says he'd let his kid die all over again is just sick, I don't care how pissed off he is.
I volunteer and contribute to the March of Dimes and am just glad there are people out there willing to offer an opposing view to these dangerous crackpots.

thimscool said...

“Does timscool's leaving mean he could not come up with anything other than insults?”

Are you suggesting that the substance of my arguments in this thread is all about hurling insults? If so, then read it again. You yourself begin commenting in this thread about your concerns that Morgan’s aggressive approach detracts from her point, which isn’t very different from my stance here.

~~~

“Per the sexist angle which I know timscool will disagree with, I do believe Morgan that one of the reasons you frustrate men who debate you is because you don't fold or give in to them. It seems aggression is OK in men but reviled in a woman.”

What the hell are you talking about? I am not the one who began making comments about how the other gender could never understand some concept. And when I did take that approach it was self-deprecating in an effort to diffuse the logic, since no one cared to answer my point about how lack of experience does not invalidate one’s opinion about what should be law (aka, victims’ families shouldn’t be permitted to kill out of revenge). Analyze your own statements and note the inherent sexism therein, before making accusations that you won’t be able to support.

~~~

“I won't be checking back in because frankly these heated discussions tire me out.”

Poor you. Amazing that you managed to summon the energy to get in some last minute sniping before leaving… but what’s this? You’re back.

~~~

“Roland if you are truly concerned about D's pain have you thought about suggesting that he get therapy for himself and his wife to help them come to terms with what happened to their baby?”

Yep. You’re back and you’re implying that Roland doesn’t really give a damn about D’s pain, but is just here to win an argument. If you’re gonna bring out the machine guns don’t be surprised when you get covered in napalm.

~~~

“It seems that D truly needs this if timscool is right and he is mired in denial althoug I disagree that anyone can blame Morgan for that.”

No one did blame Morgan for that. You’re apparently trying to pour gasoline on the fire.

~~~
“Granted D can't be pushed into it as Morgan has attempted to do but if you and your friends really care about him why not focus on helping him instead of focusing on Morgan?”

I did in fact offer words of solace and encouragement to D, although he is understandably not interested in discussing the matter. And I’m focused on Morgan because she is also my friend and I am trying to give her a heads up about what I perceive to be a lack of judgment about dealing with people. What’s it to you?

~~~

“Sometimes I think it is because you all like to fight as much as you say she does.”

Yeah Margaret? Why don’t you reread your first comment and then get back to me on that.

And by the way, it’s ‘thimscool’, with an ‘h’. Or Luke, if you like. Or even if you don’t like.

Amber said...

I guess he left but, thimscool said:
Amber, I don't think you're crazy or satanic.


I was being deliberately facetious, don't worry! :)

But I can't imagine how you can think of a fetus is the same as a kidney.

To me, the collection of cells that begin to multiply once the egg has been fertilized is just a collection of cells. It's simply a part of my body, like my hand or my eye or my kidney. Or cancer! The fact that this collection of cells holds chromosomes doesn't make it a human being to me. It could *become* one, but it isn't one. Yet.

You are having trouble imagining this because you believe that the moment a sperm enters the egg, it's now a viable being, a new entity.

I believe that it's still mine, a part of my body and not a separate being at all.

Yet.

If you don't mind me asking, what do you think of late term abortion, after the 'fetus' is capable of living without the mothers involvement in any way?

That gets sticky. I personally would NOT be comfortable doing that. And it would bother me to hear about another woman doing it too.

But let's say we use the criteria of "living outside the womb" as "right to life". In other words, late term abortions are outright killing it because the baby can live outside the womb.

But the term "outside the womb" doesn't hold the meaning it once did. Test tube babies, cloning, etc.

So rather than abort ANYONE, why not take the zygote/fetus/baby out and place it in a willing host mother? No matter what age; 1 day, 3 weeks, 6 months, whatever? With today's technology, I'm sure it could be done.

But I personally wouldn't want that.

Why?

Because I believe that my genes and chromosomes are mine.

But is that belief true? Are my eggs really mine or am I just a host for future life and nothing more? I have no "rights" over my eggs/zygotes/fetuses/babies?

Maybe my body DOES belong to the Universal Infinite? As such, don't I OWE it to all of the Universe to share my genes and chromosomes without stinting? Who the hell am I to hold back my eggs by using birth control, for that matter?

I don't know. I guess on one hand, I owe my species the right to continue our existence. But that's not the issue here; we're overpopulated if anything.

After all, I'm not the Last Woman Left In The World, forced to procreate against her will with numerous men taking her soft, feminine body again and again, slaking their lust while performing their duty to save the Human Race as she closes her eyes in writhing ecstasy.

Wow, that was hot!

I'm SO WRITING A STORY LIKE THAT! Heh.

I guess the answer is; as long as I am guardian of my own body and its cells and as long as I have control over it, I will utilize my control. And my choices will depend upon each situation.

I can only speak for me; I can't speak for other women and their chromosomes, of course.

If "Brave New World" makes its appearance, though, *everyone* will be raised in cloned uteruses and this entire issue will be a moot point. ;-P

Well...think of it this way; no more breastmilk infections or stretch marks. Hooray!

Do you think that birth is what endows a person with the right to life?

I think MY Right to Life trumps the unborn baby's Right to Life.

And my older children's Right to Life or Right to *Quality* of Life come before the unborn baby too.

I'd also like to say that we women have been making our own choices about whether or not we bear babies and what's best for our existing families in difficult situations for thousands of years. Abortion isn't new; it's been practiced for ages. If it's outlawed here, women like me will just fly off to whatever country keeps it legal. If it's eradicated everywhere, then we'll go back to doing it in secret as women have done for millennia.

Wikipedia has a fascinating history of abortion here, for anyone who is interested:

http://tinyurl.com/e3259

Roland said:

Amber,

I may not agree with you on this particular issue, but you are acting kindly and benevolently.


Thank you! I appreciate that. :)

And just so you know, eveything tasted like chicken. ;)

Yeah, now why IS that, anyway? Bizarre! ;-P

Except for fillet mignon. Yum!

thimscool said...

Look Morg,

Several times I have tried to extend an olive branch, believe it or not. The last time I did it you quoted me out of context to advance your point, which really pisses me off. I am sure you have reread our statements, and I hope you see what I am getting at here. I’ll try one more time.

Where we agree:
I agree that anyone who is pro-life should also be pro-prenatal-care. I also believe that the government (our taxes) should pay for pre-natal care for anyone who can’t afford it (and Nicole has assured me that it does, through WIC and Medicaid). I agree that D and his wife should probably have availed themselves of such care, and it is a shame that they did not (although none of us know if that is related to the cause of the baby’s death). I agree that pro-life activists should avoid calling women who got abortions “murderers”, “baby-killers”, “whores”, etc.

Where we disconnect:
Although I am unsure about my position on early term abortion, I am sure that it is a different discussion from prenatal care, unless we’re talking about the fruitcakes that actively refuse prenatal care out of some misguided religious conviction. And by that I do not simply mean that they believe that God will take care of them, but rather I mean that they actually refuse care and treatment on the grounds that they think it would displease God or show some lack of trust. I agree that the latter is in the same camp as the pro-abortionists, because it implies intent. But I suspect that in D’s case that another motivation was in play, and I think you know that. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think that D is a Christian Scientist sort…

Where we disagree:
The man (and his wife) have suffered an unimaginable loss. You are acting like a bull in a china shop. You say that this is to illustrate to him that he shouldn’t call women who have had abortions “baby-killing whores”. I doubt very much he said anything like that. Even if he did, the man and his wife are in deep pain, and you are twisting the sword in the wound to make a point. Am I wrong?


We’ve been down this path a few times now, Morgan. That’s why I quoted the poem.

thimscool said...

“The fact that this collection of cells holds chromosomes doesn't make it a human being to me.”

Hmmm. It is undoubtedly a human life, although not capable of independence, yet. The chromosomes in your kidney are all your own, where as the fetus has it’s own genetic set. So do cancer cells, and bacteria for that matter. But they are not human.

~~~

“You are having trouble imagining this because you believe that the moment a sperm enters the egg, it's now a viable being, a new entity.”

Incorrect. I believe that it is a new entity, but it certainly isn’t viable at the moment of conception without the aid of the mother.

~~~

“I believe that it's still mine, a part of my body and not a separate being at all.”

Please don’t take this the wrong way, since it is, again, reductio ad absurdum, but Jethro thinks blacks are subhuman… does that mean that Jethro should be able to kill them at will, like cows?

You have tried to cast this as a matter of belief or religious conviction. It may surprise you to learn that I have no religious convictions. But in any case, there are laws against stealing in this country, and they aren’t there because of the eight Commandment. At some point, that “collection of cells” becomes a human being, and you have agreed that it is before nine months of gestation. When it does, it deserves the protection of the law against murder (right to life).

~~~

“I personally would NOT be comfortable doing that. And it would bother me to hear about another woman doing it too.”

Well Amber, it makes me uncomfortable too. So did Charles Manson. Beyond our feelings, do you think that maybe there should be a law against it? Should we not restrict (strongly) the conditions under which late term abortions are permitted?

~~~

“I believe that my genes and chromosomes are mine.”

And so they are, Amber. But the fetus has a different set of them, which is unique in the universe. Your eggs are clearly yours, but the fetus/baby is not. It is also the result of the father’s DNA. But you know that, right?

~~~

“I have no "rights" over my eggs/zygotes/fetuses/babies?”

Eggs yes. Zygotes probably, but they aren’t exclusively yours, per the arguments above. Fetuses maybe, but now we’re treading on dangerous ground. Babies, certainly not. Babies belong to themselves. You are the parent and guardian, but you can’t kill your baby.

~~~

“Who the hell am I to hold back my eggs by using birth control, for that matter?”

I have just explained how this is different. I’m not Catholic. I can’t imagine that I would ever believe that women should be compelled to breed. That goes beyond Brave New World and into the realm of the Handmaids Tale.

~~~

“I'm SO WRITING A STORY LIKE THAT! Heh.”

It’s been done many times before, but have at it.

I once had a fiend that was cheerfully eating a bowl full of ravioli while watching a documentary on a chimpanzee birth. When it got to the point that the mother ate the placenta, he even remarked how it looked similar to his ravioli… I think that story is analogous to your ability to discover lust in the context of this discussion. But hey, it takes all kinds to make the world spin.

~~~

“I can only speak for me; I can't speak for other women and their chromosomes, of course.”

I’m growing weary of this, but again I will point out that their fetus’s chromosomes are not their own chromosomes, which is why this is a matter of discussion at all. I would be a pure-T-asshole if I told you that you couldn’t get your appendix removed. That’s not what is happening here. Please adjust your thinking, if not your rhetoric.

~~~

“I think MY Right to Life trumps the unborn baby's Right to Life.”

Yeah. As I said I would even vote for allowing partial birth abortion if we can certify that the woman’s life is in danger.

~~~

“Right to *Quality* of Life come before the unborn baby too.”

Now you lost me. That’s a very slippery slope where you’re standing.

~~~

“Abortion isn't new; it's been practiced for ages.”

So has infanticide, not to mention murder in all its forms. This is a particularly poor argument.

~~~

“If it's outlawed here, women like me will just fly off to whatever country keeps it legal.”

That may be. And let’s not forget that the laws against murder don’t prevent it from happening either. But bone-the-less you probably would agree that murder should be illegal, right?

~~~

It almost sounds like you are trying to convince me, Amber. Or failing that, you’re trying to convince somebody…

I may sound like a know-it-all prick, but in fact I readily admit that I do not have all the answers. I have no clue what to do about the zygotes, or the pill, or any of the other issues in early abortions.

But I do know that much of what you are saying is factually incorrect (pretty much every time you use the word ‘chromosome’). If that makes me an asshole, ok. I can live with that, in this circumstance. Again, I don’t condemn you for your choices or for your weak grasp on biology. I recognize that you feel strongly that you made the right decision, and I suspect that the good you have brought to the world far outweighs any mistakes or “sins” that you have committed. I am trying to change your mind. I hope it isn’t in vain.

Amber said...

Luke said: I may sound like a know-it-all prick

Yes, actually you do.

Luke said: I am trying to change your mind. I hope it isn’t in vain.

You are doing a piss-poor job of it then, my friend. You have actually alienated me.

Comparing me to "Jethro" on the farm saying blacks are worthless? Comparing me to a "fiend" (was that deliberate?) who said his ravioli looked like placenta?

You're trying to change my mind?

Wow you failed!

Which means, of course, you are not trying to persuade me.

I'm assuming I upset you with my answers and this is your retaliation.

Luke said: I once had a fiend that was cheerfully eating a bowl full of ravioli while watching a documentary on a chimpanzee birth. When it got to the point that the mother ate the placenta, he even remarked how it looked similar to his ravioli… I think that story is analogous to your ability to discover lust in the context of this discussion. But hey, it takes all kinds to make the world spin.

Wow. I made a semi-joke and you compare it to this? Is this more of your trying to change my mind?

Jesus Christ. At this point, I'm glad you don't have my address.

*Really*

Luke said: But I do know that much of what you are saying is factually incorrect (pretty much every time you use the word ‘chromosome’). If that makes me an asshole, ok. I can live with that, in this circumstance.

Yeah, you're being an asshole.

Guess you have to live with it. Glad I don't have to. :)

Luke, I used the word chromosome because I thought you'd used it earlier; that's the only reason. I have little interest in biological terms other than...well, I LIVE biology, now, don't I? :)

As I said originally, I never read that thread about "D" or whomever; there is no link to that blogger and even if there was, the discussion is apparently gone.

I know you feel for "D" and I appreciate that and all the high feelings in this thread, but...I "suspect" (heh) that you are using misplaced anger in this instance.

I wish you well.

thimscool said...

“Fiend” was a typo in which I dropped the ‘r’ from friend, but it passed spell check so I didn’t notice. What’s wrong with eating placentas, or joking about it? If you can get turned on during a discussion of abortion, my friend can eat ravioli with gusto while watching an ape eat its placenta. It’s a weird world.

Jethro was brought up to illustrate that just because you feel something doesn’t make it right. I’ll note that you simply ignored my disclaimer that I was taking your logic to its extreme consequences. Putting it right in the sentence kind of means that I actually was not comparing you to Jethro.

My failure to persuade you is not evidence of me not trying… just evidence that my rhetoric was too over-the-top. But at least maybe in the future you’ll avoid making arguments like “people have been doing it for millennia”.

I object when you say that a baby has your chromosomes, and use that incorrect assertion to suggest that you have the right to destroy it like you would an appendix or a malignant kidney. That isn’t going to slide in a discussion about abortion, sorry if you don’t like that.

I also wish you well. I hope you think about what I have said. Failing that, I hope that others do.

Amber said...

My failure to persuade you is not evidence of me not trying…

Bullshit. And you know this.

As do I. :)

Roland said...

Amber,

I don't think Luke was being a prick. He made some very sound arguments. As you have. I had never looked at the 'their my cells' aspect before. And he explained his view very well. I'm sorry that you took offense. I really don't think he was trying to offend you as much as trying to show you a different way to look at it. I know I appreciate what he wrote, because I never looked at it that way. I do think that the tone was a bit more abrasive than it might have been considering that this post's tone has been turning more and more sour.
Margaret seems only interested in 'scoring points.'
Luke seems to be trying to get his point across.
I'll let it go, because I can see it bothers you like certain things bother D. I hope with time you'll heal.

----

Morgan,

I thought of a great (my opinion) analogy on the D thing.
Suppose you went up to a bear caught in a trap and went to try to free it. The bear kept getting more and more defensive as you tried to get near. Eventually you think to yourself, "Well! Stupid bear gets what it deserves. It would probably walk into the trap again if given the chance. Dumb bear!"
I wonder if your view might change if you would have seen the cub the bear was trying to protect.

I'm not asking you to change your opinions. Keep them. We all have them and it makes life interesting. Just remember that you don't have to be unkind about the way you bring them across. I read the stuff that occurred after I left and I can tell that Luke is frustrated, you are frustrated, Amber is hurting, and Margaret is waiting to 'win'. I'm just hoping compassion can win. I admit that Margaret doesn't bring my good side to the surface.

And when you continue to throw rocks at D, because he did the same thing, you will attract rocks of your own.

Is that what you really want?

Roland said...

In the famous words of Red Green,
"We're all in this together. Keep your stick on the ice."

Roland said...

I saw a message for you...

"MOTL, if you’re reading this, my attitude is that you’re a troublemaker who delights in sticking the knife in & twisting it, for the sheer joy derived from the act. Which is why I ignore you, for the most part; you aren’t worth the time or effort. You should tend to the plank in your own eye, before condemning the motes in the eyes of those who are grieving from a loss."

Thought it was interesting. Now I'll go back and read the post I wanted to.
(Remember the thing about rocks?)

Anonymous said...

Thimscool, I am sorry about the missing "h." It does seem that small things make you very, very angry. Again I must say your responses to me and Amber are very close to the kind of ugliness you accuse Morgan of. Machine guns and napalm? It seems that you are treating this discussion as a war and don't like it when women fight back. Despite Morgan's attempt to defend you on that point I think she may be wrong. You do seem extraordinarily angry with her for sticking to her convictions in spite of the joint efforts by both you and Roland to shame her into wavering. You try to force her to say there's no comparison between abortion and neglect that leads to a baby's death but then turn around in the response to Amber and compare abortion to infanticide. And it is funny that Roland accuses me of only trying to score points and yet can do little better than bring quotes over from someone who would rather take shots at Morgan from another forum. It seems the only man in this discussion who has made any sense is CJ and of course I noticed neither man would touch what he said with a ten foot pole. I am not surprised given the stark difference between him and the fellow they are defending. Since no one else addressed you CJ I will say good for you! Now I will go but I won't promise that I will not pop in later since coming back unannounced is another thing that seems to anger tHimscool.
God Bless You
Margaret

Roland said...

Margaret,

Are you able to see any of theings we're saying, only do you only get your back up and focus solely on the things you disagree with.
You milady are acting the part of a rabble-rouser.

You accuse Luke of being the one trying to win, yet gleefully point out others errors.

Can you say anything nice about those who disagree with you?
Anything?
Or is that left solely for those who agree with you?

"I don't care how pissed off he is." - CJ

Yup, words to live by. Poke bears with sticks. Fun, fun, fun.
Sheesh!

Roland said...

There you go, Morgan.
You've topped 100 comments again. :)

Roland said...

"Now I will go but I won't promise that I will not pop in later since coming back unannounced is another thing that seems to anger tHimscool."

I realized that I've heard this before. :)

thimscool said...

“It seems that you are treating this discussion as a war and don't like it when women fight back.”

I assure you that if you were a man I would say this same thing: either provide evidence of my sexism, or stop making this ridiculous assertion.

~~~

“You do seem extraordinarily angry with her for sticking to her convictions in spite of the joint efforts by both you and Roland to shame her into wavering.”

You haven’t seen me angry. You’re just hypersensitive. You have also ignored the many efforts that I have made to come to an understanding with Morgan, and acknowledge her points.

But that isn’t surprising because you are entirely disingenuous. How do I know? You claim that I “compared abortion to infanticide”. Never mind that I have repeatedly stated that I don’t know what I think about early-term abortion… let’s just look at my actual words which you are deliberately misrepresenting:

Amber: “Abortion isn't new; it's been practiced for ages.”

Luke: “So has infanticide, not to mention murder in all its forms. This is a particularly poor argument.”


Clear as a bell. Should I have said “incest”, you would have accused me of comparing abortion with incest. Pathetic.

~~~

You are a troll. This food is only to illustrate the point. Now you’re cut off.

Morgan said...

Can't I leave you people alone for a minute? It's too nice a day for me to have at this for long, but let me just address a few points from the bottom up.

1. Margaret is not a troll. She's a friend and valuable contributor to this forum, as you are Luke. And I agree that the level of your shrillness does seem to rise proportionately with my refusal to back down from my position. I think at some point we're just going to have to agree to disagree.

2. Roland, if Luke is shrill, then you are foaming at the mout. When you start posting the comments of others to support your only point (Morgan is sooo mean!) then you risk making me feel a bit sorry for you. As I told you yesterday, there's a very active Hate Morgan Club that has never agreed with my willingness to throw their own piety back in their faces on issues of racism, charity, homosexuality and other things we disagreed about. You're free to quote these mouth-breathing Ann Coulter fans all you want as you continue to graze in their flocks. I'll state again for the record that I am PROUD to be maligned by anyone who supports faith-based neglect of an unborn child. I wear their disdain like a badge of honor.

2. Luke, per your post regarding agreement, disconnect and disagreement. You seem to persist in overlooking what bothers me and some others about Eaglewood. This man and his wife refused prenatal care for her high risk pregnancy, they knew something was wrong at the end and likely missed the chance to save their child, the baby died and yet Eaglewood says he WOULD DO IT AGAIN? If you wonder why I lack compassion for the man, that's why.
Your saying I have forced him to take this position (ridiculous) or Roland's comparing the man to a wild animal (perhaps more reasonable) does nothing to change the fact that man has said if he had to go back in time he would not take extra steps to save his little baby.
You keep looking for reasons why he doesn't say he wishes he could change things, and then invent them because the ugly truth is that he just may be telling the truth, and the biggest pain he feels is not the death of his child but the loss of face.
His wife, on the other hand, is in pain and does second-guess herself because she does know they screwed up. And what does he do amid her pain? In the debate at Erik's Eaglewood put the whole of the responsibility of the decision on her and tried to wash his hands of it. You seem to base your compassion on what you think Eaglewood feels; I base my lack of it on what the man has SAID.
So I stand by my position. I feel sorry for the dead baby. And for the wife. Not for him, not as long as he continues to say he'd do it all the same way again.

3. CJ, I've corresponded with you so I'm already aware of your situation. I know why Luke and Roland didn't - as Margaret pointed out - touch what you said with a "ten foot pole" and that's because you're a father who dares to act like one. Luke and Roland have put themselves in the odd position of defending a man who doesn't regret taking the steps that contributed to the death of his child. The only way they can defend Eaglewood is to give him a makeover by insisting that he really does regret his child's death but doesn't want to tell us because that would make me right. If that's true, then if that's not a damn sorry reason for saying he regrets his decision, I don't know what is. Losing a debate with me should not be more important than honoring that child.

So that's it for now. We have new neighbors. And they have very unusual pet - a grizzly bear. I've been playing photographer since early today and will check back in here later after I download my photos.

Andrea said...

According to govt stats, babies born to mothers who do not receive prenatal care are 5 times more likely to die than babies born to mothers who do. Why in hell anyone would gamble with their unborn child's life is beyond me.

I just had my son two weeks ago. About 3 months ago, I heard strange popping/cracking sounds coming from my belly, and naturally I was worried about him. I told my doctor, who consulted specialists, and several thorough examinations and ultrasounds later, the baby and I both were given a clean bill of health. Thanks to the science of prenatal care. I was given peace of mind, priceless to an expectant mother.

The popping sounds were coming from my own pelvic bones, the baby's bones were completely normal. But what if I neglected to get my son checked out? He could've had fractured bones in the womb, as some unfortunate babies do. Why take a completely *unnecessary* risk?

The sad truth is that "D" probably realizes the importance of preventative maintenance for his car and computer, but not for his children in utero.

Prenatal care is **vital** for all pregnant women.

Roland said...

(sigh)

You win. Good job. You have proven that you can stick to your guns no matter that people are hurt or not.
You defended those someone else hurted and you made them pay.
Congrats.

Roland said...

"The sad truth is that "D" probably realizes the importance of preventative maintenance for his car and computer, but not for his children in utero."

Yeah, he must be an evil twisted man. Better get the kids he already has taken away before he neglects them as I'm sure you think he will. Do you people have no shame?

Andrea said...

You're defending someone whose neglect could very well have cost an innocent boy his life, so you're asking the wrong folks about shame, sir.

Morgan said...

"You're defending someone whose neglect could very well have cost an innocent boy his life, so you're asking the wrong folks about shame, sir."

Roland is destined to miss the picture, Andrea. He continues to elavate the protection of feelings above the protection of life.

"You have proven that you can stick to your guns no matter that people are hurt or not."

And you've proven you're the type of man to defend a man who says he'd let his unborn son die ALL OVER AGAIN.

CJ said...

The kind of peace of mind that Andrea described is one of the best gifts a man can give his pregnant wife. Learning that Connor had a septal defect wasn't easy but the early diagnosis helped us plan for a safer delivery and immediate care. Our son deserved that and he is no different from any other baby in that regard. The only difference is the type of parents a child ends up with. I think our son just happened to be extremely fortunate.
I didn't and don't expect responses from anyone. That's not why I wrote. I just wanted people to know there are God-fearing, Christian men in this world who do not consider putting their family at risk a show of faith.
It does seem that the two guys giving Morgan a hard time here have boxed themselves in by saying this man regrets his decision when the man himself says otherwise. It's kind of flimsy to build a defense on a stance the person you're defending never has publicly taken.
Thanks for letting me have my say, doll. I look forward to some more of your lighter writings later on. Maybe another dress-up post?

thimscool said...

I don't have time for a long response.

CJ, I agreed with what you said initially. As for your post just above, I think you (and most people here) have missed the point that I have repeatedly stated...

I don't want to believe taht D took the approach of a Christian Scientist. If he did, then I more or less agree with Morgan, as I stated above.

But I recall him mentioning receiving medical care, and his wife receiving medical care in the past. So I doubt that he was acting as you say.

As for what he said in that post, I haven't read it, and I can't read it (since it was taken down). I have proposed a reason why he might have said it, and I admit that it is a weak reason, but my point still stands that it may be what happened (too proud to give in to Morgan).

I stand by what I have said that, assuming he is not actively refusing treatment, then his mistake is at a different level of culpability than somebody that intentionally aborts a late-term fetus. This also stands and has not been refuted here.

~~~

Morgan, you can say I'm shrill if you want. I'll agree to disagree with that too, and avoid further escalation.

Have a great weekend folks.

Roland said...

"It does seem that the two guys giving Morgan a hard time here have boxed themselves in by saying this man regrets his decision when the man himself says otherwise. It's kind of flimsy to build a defense on a stance the person you're defending never has publicly taken."

Compassion. Every one needs it. I won't defend the point you are accusing him of. Given the circumstances he might say he wouldn't change it. Maybe he won't. But we don't know ALL the details. Well, except for CJ and Morgan. Omniscience is so much easier.

CJ said...

My understanding is that the guy and his wife did actively decide not to get medical care because they believed God would protect the baby without it. Maybe that's a departure from what they've done in the past and since but for the purposes of that pregnancy they put their baby's life at risk for their own religious beliefs. In my mind, that makes them culpable for whatever results from that decision. Not to lecture but when it comes to pregnancy there's more to medical care than waiting until something horrible has happened to get it. Without prenatal monitoring you may not know the baby is danger until it is too later.
Morgan hasn't said that she equates what this father did with an abortion, only that he didn't act in a pro-life manner. She's extrapolated that a person who claims to be pro-life would have done more to protect his unborn son against risks any reasonable person would have forseen given his wife's medical history. I have to agree with her.
This has been a very interesting read and I hope it makes people think.

CJ said...

later = late

Roland said...

Maybe. I didn't read all the comments before they were deleted. So I don't know exactly what was said.
Thanks for being decent about this CJ.
I do know that throwing rocks doesn't help things. That's what I've been trying to say and keep getting hit with the little buggers.

CJ said...

No need to thank me for being decent. It's a serious subject.
Not that she needs me to defend her, but I still don't see where Morgan threw rocks at you or anyone else. As she likes to do sometimes she waded bluntly into a controversial issue with a strong opinion, invited others to differ with her and debated them when they did. Anyone who is going to cry victim might want to reconsider participating in these forums.

Roland said...

CJ,

I won't argue with you. But if you say that someone else is treating others poorly and bad-mouthing them and then do it yourself while complaining that they did it, doesn't that seem hypocritical to you?

I believe EVERYONE should be treated with dignity and respect. Even if they aren't doing it themselves. Not because they deserve it, but because the cycle needs to stop somewhere.

Disagreement is fine. Personal attacks are not. If you think they are, then the playing field isn't level. Because I don't try to play that way. I don't always succeed, but I try.

CJ said...

I think you are being disingenuous, Roland and might need to go back and re-read this thread. You continue to harp about emotions and feelings while overlooking the primary topic which is the need for prenatal care. Morgan and Andrea and I see the baby as a victim and are disturbed that a father would stand by the neglect of his child and say he'd do it all over again. If you want to support that go right ahead but at least try to understand why I "attack" it. I came too close to losing my own child not to stand up for those too helpless to speak for themselves.
If you re-read your last five comments they don't even touch on the topic of that baby. Not everyone has forgotten he was a human who also deserved dignity and respect. Our opinions on how to show dignity and respect to an infant obviously are at odds as you and I are likely to be over our opinions are of Morgan.

cj said...

likely to be over our opinions are of Morgan = likely to be over our opinions of Morgan

Morgan said...

Thanks, CJ, but I think your words are wasted on Roland. He's joined a band that can only seem to play one tune.

This Right Wing Band appears to believe that the neglect of unborn children is OK just so long as it is Sanctioned By God. Children of fundamentalists aren't really people, they're posessions - little Gifts from God. So if you want to trust God to cure a baby's pneumonia or chance that it will be born healthy without medical care then that is your God Given Right. And if the baby up and dies it's poor etiquitte to pretend it may have existed or - God forbid - suffered. Any sympathy that may have gone to the baby must be instantly transferred to the parents who never meant for things to Turn Out This Way. They proved their trust in by denying their child medical care and God - in his Infinite Wisdom - killed the baby. Pity them. Or something like that.

In the past (and I'm sure in the present) I've been accused to not being a good Christian or even a real Christian by the very people who give their Holy Stamp of Approval to what Eaglewood has done. That is a great comfort to me. To be praised as a Good Christian by these people would be like being praised as a Good Citizen by the KKK.

So when Roland climbs aboard the fundamentalist bandwagon and belts out the same tune in numerous posts, I'm happy to let him, allowing his parroting to serve as juxtaposition to the more thoughtful contributions.

Luke has vociferously disagreed with me, but has at leased allowed that his defense of Eaglewood may be a bit weak, and also has expressed squeamishness over the idea of a parent denying their child prenatal care.

I have disagreed with Luke, but concede his point that Eaglewood's neglect of his child - while a likely factor in his baby's death -isn't quite the same thing as abortion.

But as you say, CJ, bottom line everyone needs to look at the issue of prenatal care, and any Christian who would emulate Eaglewood's "test of faith" may want to consider the price he paid for such radical fundamentalism. He made a tragic choice, and no matter how much his fundamentalist pals prop him up eventually he's going to have to deal with it.

Soft peddling the issue won't bring that baby back, but hopefully through discussing it, others can be saved.

thimscool said...

"Luke has vociferously disagreed with me, but has at leased allowed that his defense of Eaglewood may be a bit weak, and also has expressed squeamishness over the idea of a parent denying their child prenatal care."

It is more accurate to say that I was trying to explain D's statement that he would "do it all over again". Not to defend it. There is no defense for that statement, but I can still understand why he might have made it. Maybe this is where we have snagged.

~~~

"I have disagreed with Luke, but concede his point that Eaglewood's neglect of his child - while a likely factor in his baby's death -isn't quite the same thing as abortion."

Well, that's good to hear. Put that together with the possibility that he is distraught and irrational, and you may begin to see what I'm saying. He can still consistently be anti-abortion in spite of any mistakes he might have made.

But if he makes personal attacks on people who have abortions, then he does open himself to your questioning. Still doesn't make it the same though, because of this matter of intent.

Anyway, I think we've beat straight through the corpse of this horse and we're hitting bedrock now.

Morgan said...

"But if he makes personal attacks on people who have abortions, then he does open himself to your questioning."

That's the point I was intitially making when Eaglewood started talking about how women have abortions only for convenience and need to think about something other than the "next piece of meat between their legs."

Still doesn't make it the same though, because of this matter of intent.

Not in the purest sense, but to those people who see "Pro-life" as not just protecting the unborn from the threat of abortion but also the threat of fatal reckless neglect then he has far less credibility than someone like CJ who is pro-life not just in intent but in ACTION. Anyone can carry a sign saying "I'm pro-life". It's what they do that counts.

"Anyway, I think we've beat straight through the corpse of this horse and we're hitting bedrock now."

Amen, and I have no desire to pull out my chisel and dynamite. Time for a new post.

Lord Omar said...

He's joined a band that can only seem to play one tune.

It is also a band that relies on insulting condescension when confronted with facts.
I have not spoken with Roland for many months since a post he did that contained the statement(paraphrase) ~ "I cannot recall a single instance of an Israeli attack on Palestinians"... when I pointed to the 1994 massacre by Baruch Goldstein of 29 Muslims praying in the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Roland, with his ever so charming doublespeak, began to berate the comment as irrelevant and having no bearing on what he was alluding to in his post. Um, sure.
Right-wing Christian fascists may believe their “Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge will ever move them to the right place”.

Roland said...

Okay, I'll take my lumps. Yes, Omar I didn't like what you said. But I was trying to point out how often it occurred in the other direction. And until you pointed it out, I hadn't heard of one.
Score 1 for Omar. :)

"So when Roland climbs aboard the fundamentalist bandwagon and belts out the same tune in numerous posts, I'm happy to let him, allowing his parroting to serve as juxtaposition to the more thoughtful contributions."

Why is it wrong for someone else to throw rocks, but not for you?
Just because they did it first?
Wow, talk about an unending cycle.
If that makes me 'fundamental' you are misreading what I have been trying to say. Keep misunderstanding. It's your privelege.

Morgan said...

Roland, Omar's experience with you illustrates why it's even useless to debate fundamentalist crackpots and also illustrates why I allow you to drone on and say the same thing over and over. The more you talk the more absurd you look. So please, continue. I'm sure you won't let the facts of the situation stand in the way of your shouting them down. So onward "Christian" soldier, by all means continue the tactics you seem to be employing just not at my blog but at others as well.

Thanks, Omar, for reinforcing why it doesn't make any sense to even try to deal with people like this.

Roland said...

You're right, Morgan. It does seem pointless to continue this discussion. I understand your viewpoint. You do not or will not understand mine.

thimscool said...

Holy cow! Flash back! Somebody get my camera, I see an aquatic ape!

Roland said...

Is it me, or did the colors change?