Belief Beat

Belief Beat


Election Day 2010: News From The Pews

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Unless you’ve already voted by mail (the norm here in the Pacific Northwest), don’t forget that today is Election Day. Time to find out whether religious conservatives — especially the Tea Party — will help secure a Republican majority in the House and Senate.

As for religious progressives, leaders from the National Council of Churches and the global humanitarian agency Church World Service met with President Obama to thank him for health care reform yesterday, “while also pressing him to take a strong stance on behalf of families facing poverty and hunger.”

In addition to Beliefnet’s other religion and politics blogs, check out The Washington Post‘s On Faith section for several interesting opinion pieces on the mid-term elections, plus this interview with Robert P. Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute on “how the religious makeup of the tea party movement impacts their voting patterns and political priorities.”

And here are some more links to faith-related election news:

Check back for updates and share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

*Click here to subscribe to Belief Beat and click here to follow Belief Beat on Twitter.



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Greg Pettis

posted November 2, 2010 at 8:31 am


I don’t understand how people “of faith” can vote for democrats who support abortion and the homosexual agenda. I just don’t get it. How can you prepare to stand before God with these anti-scriptural beliefs?



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Robert C

posted November 2, 2010 at 10:42 am


If you stopped basing that assumption on what you expect others to believe then perhaps you could understand it without having to agree to it.



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Henrietta22

posted November 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm


Last night I heard Sarah Palin call her political opposites a bunch of bastards in a video that is broadcast nationwide. Today nothing on the news about this. If Rachel Maddow, CNN, etc. had said this the world woud be shaking this A.M. Somewhere there are little consesrvative children running around saying bastards, bastards! LOL.



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Not as good as YOU, apparently

posted November 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm


I don’t understand how people “of faith” can vote for republicans who support taking away a woman’s right to control her reproductive health choices and the heterosexist agenda. I just don’t get it. How can you prepare to stand before God with these semi-selective-scriptural beliefs?
Such ‘deep’ “thinking” from the uber-‘right’.



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Josh

posted November 2, 2010 at 4:34 pm


I agree with Greg’s first comment in essence. Greg, the reason why some “people of faith” (by which you mean Christians)can support those policies and hold up President as THE example of a Christian politician is because in reality their attitudes and lives are not submitted to Christ at all. They are really Christian atheists, people who join us in church pews for the feel-good social aspect of it and who accept only those parts of the Bible that allow them to still bow to their American sense of “rights” and individualism to keep their own self-gratifying positions on a variety of issues. This is because in reality they really have no conviction to follow God’s lead in standing for anything i.e. everything is based on a humanistic understanding of rights (the “right” to murder the unborn if one chooses, the right to be sexual as one chooses, the right to dismiss the full data of the Bible as one chooses.)
Please keep in mind this occurs on both sides of the political aisle, though these issues are very clear and visible. For example, there are many who may agree with Christ about the right to life or God’s plan for healthy sexuality who do not care at all about sharing what they have with people who can’t meet their basic needs (I am not referring to taxes, but to voluntary charity, which is Christ’s solution to how Christians should address poverty and health needs.) Furthermore, they may not care about how they or their community impacts the environment, giving know thought to those who are affected now or later by harmful affects of our actions.
You see, we all must be careful that we are submitting our votes and our actions to the full spectrum of Christ’s values. I am not arguing that it is harder to define exactly what is Scriptural concerning charity and environmental stewardship then the more grievous and obvious transgressions of justice such as murdering someone or being engaged in normalizing sexual perversion. The full spectrum of the “progressive” (in actuality should be called the “regressive”) platform is a mockery to Christ’s ethics.
Furthermore, don’t be intimidated by those such as NAGAY,A above who display their lack of Christ’s love in their lives by insulting your intelligence and stereotyping you as “uber-right.” Just remember that Christ himself said that just as much as He came to offer love and eternal life to all, He also came to separate the sheep from the goats. There are many “progressives” and “conservatives” in our churches who like to say “Lord, Lord” but who have no life in Christ and no unity with us. What is far more important that political titles is that of “Christian” and a mature Christian wouldn’t stoop to character attacks and dismissive stereotyping as they did.
For any wondering, I was raised in a very liberal home rooting for Bill Clinton against the “evil” first George Bush. I became a Christian in my later teen years and previously hated Christians as boring people who believed nonsense about things like my parents’ gay friends and “rights” to kill the unborn. In reality, I was just showing my cowardice and following popular culture. I am currently not affiliated with any major political party, and it is clear to me that many Christian Republicans are missing the full scope of Christian ethics in their policy support and that “Christian” Democrats are very often just a sham and a mockery of people unwilling to stand with Christ in public life.
I am now in seminary studying the Truth behind Christian response to things like healthcare, abortion, poverty, environmental stewardship, and homosexuality. And it can be unequivically concluded that Christ, while not calling for anyone to be “stoned” for their sins, gave everyone the opportunity to turn from those sins and seek healing among the family of Christ. However, He did expect his followers to face hardship and stand on convictions, as he did, and among this it is FACT that he promoted love for all human life (including the unborn) and God-honoring purity (including either celibacy or heterosexual monogamy.) Furthermore, it is FACT, not opinion, that the earliest churches and their leaders from the 1st and 2nd centuries were unanimously and explicitly clear of their rejection of Roman infanticide and abortion and of deviant sexual practices including homosexuality.
If Jesus, the Apostles, and the first Christians were united in their response to these evils, why would any Christian (either Democrat or Republican) take seriously any modern “Christian” who calls the good “evil” and the evil “good” as NAGAY,A has done?



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Robert C

posted November 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm


Josh you need to practice what you preach. Greg is entitled to his opinion and beliefs, as you are. However you know as well as I that Christ never mentioned homosexuality or spoke a word against it either in the testaments or the loggia. You can stand on Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10 if you want but Paul in several versus subsequent also enjoined everyone to become vegetarian. An argument can also be made that he specifically was referring to ‘ the pederastic relationship of an adult Greek male with a Greek youth, or of a Roman citizen with a slave’. Please. Even a review of the The Didache which is singular on how Jewish-Christians saw themselves and how they adapted their Judaism for gentiles than any other book in the Christian Scriptures, does not proscribe homosexuality, just pederasty. You can quote Basil, John Chrysostom, Augustine and the rest to your hearts content, but they are far removed from the 1st and 2nd centuries. Refer to the Council of Jerusalem (or Apostolic Conference)circa 50 AD where “the council decided that Gentile converts to Christianity were not obligated to keep most of the Mosaic law, including the rules concerning circumcision of males, however, the Council did retain the prohibitions against eating blood, or eating meat containing blood, or meat of animals not properly slain, and against fornication and idolatry.” The early church also accepted the rites of adelphopoiesis, which was a Christian rite for uniting two persons of the same sex as “spiritual brothers/sisters”. Saints Sergius and Bacchus were united in such a ritual and that Historian John Boswell states in his essay The Church and the Homosexual that they were both referred to as erastai in ancient Greek manuscripts, the same word used to describe lovers. Boswell attributes Christianity’s denunciations of “homosexuality” to a supposedly rising intolerance in Europe throughout the 12th century, which he claims was also reflected in other ways. His premise is that when sodomy wasn’t being explicitly and “officially” denounced, it was therefore being “tolerated”. So you see a case can be made for both realities, just like in today’s politics. be careful what you state if you cannot back it up ‘religiously’ with definitive scripture. And you can’t.



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foxfan6

posted November 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm


To beliefnet:
Right to choose? (not as good as you, apparently) states: “I don’t understand how people “of faith” can vote for republicans who support taking away a woman’s right to control her reproductive health choices….” This is tantamount to saying that the republicans want to take away the right to choose an abortion.
I have always had a problem with that phrase “wanting to take away my right to choose,” for in reality, no one can take away anyone’s right to choose (in this case, abortion). Everyone has the right to choose and has always had that right; even prior to 1973. Even back then, people had the right to choose; however, if you chose abortion back then and were caught, there was a consequence to pay. The only change that was made in 1973 was that the consequence for a bad choice was removed.
So “not as good as you, apparently”, quit your crying, no one is taking any woman’s right to choose, away from her.



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jestrfyl

posted November 3, 2010 at 12:47 am


Like the tides, political influence rises and falls, lifting and lowering all politicians, parties and voters. All of the “YaHOOOS!” and fist pumps tonight will be a misty memory in two years when the next election rolls through town. To all the winners, just remember what happens if you don’t produce all these vaunted promises. To the losers, look to the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Lions – Next Year is a powerful hope and it will be here sooner than we, the electorate, are ready.
Can we now get back to the erectile dysfunction, feminine hygiene, and “made for TV” advertisements. I can’t believe I actually miss them – but I’m going to have to get my TV cable exorcised to remove the boogies and ghoulies that have infested it the last too-many weeks.



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Josh

posted November 3, 2010 at 4:42 am


Robert C., thank you for your sincere, yet inaccurate response. You argue that a “case can be made” that Paul was speaking about a “pederastic relationship” in some of the most commonly cited verses from Paul about sexuality. You are correct; someone can “make a case” for just about anything. It doesn’t mean it is a good one. The weight of history and practice in Christianity doesn’t take your suggestion seriously. Sociologist Rodney Stark (not a “Bible-thumping” believer by any stretch”)wrote a widely respected work (“The Rise of Christianity”) which established firmly that the church did in fact hold counter-cultural positions against sexual deviancy and abortion/infanticide from its earliest recorded history. I would recommend this resource to begin understanding the moral practices and positions of the early church in the Roman world. As for your Mr. Boswell, just because he is an acclaimed “historian” among the Ivy League of Yale and Harvard does not mean he is one that holds any clout within Christian thought. The vast majority of secular minded historians and sociologists available for citation today are offering the same anti-Christian doctrine blah blah blah based upon their presupposition against orthodox Christianity and Biblical authority, whether or not they claim some extant of “progressive” faith in Christ. Further study into Boswell’s background shows this to be the case. Though he professed to be a devout Catholic as an adult (which I do not presume to judge), he conveniently went on to disagree with Church’s historically grounded position on normative sexuality. It is not hard to see why- he had “a dog in the hunt” so to speak. Struggling with his own sexuality became a convenient motive for him to disregard the clear evidence and produce a system of “sexual taxonomies” which also conveniently cleared him to feel justified in his sexuality. However, his conclusions, while most likely “enlightening” and welcomed by the “progressive” crowd of “scholars” who had moral motives to undermine Christ’s morals anyway, are without base in ANY Christian literature prior to the past century of “modern scholarship” (in actuality, the slow degradation through self-imposed ignorance) and are more importantly without base in the doctrine and practice of earliest Christianity.
So, as far as your reference to an “expert,” Boswell is hardly compelling to the informed Christian. The conclusion on this matter among orthodox Christianity is already quite settled, no matter the claims to the contrary of some misguided “progressive” Christians and their denominations.
Finally, it seems that you have perpetuated a logical fallacy by asserting that since Christ didn’t specifically “mention” homosexuality as such, that it is impossible to argue that he held a position against it. This might sound good on a blog but it would hardly stand up in serious debate. First, I will concede that OF COURSE he did not spell out homosexuality by name. At least not that we can know, because the Greek word that would be used to describe such an idea is the same as your word for “efeminate,” as you are already well aware. But this is further the case because it is not like there were an abundant amount of open homosexuals in 27 A.D. Israel for it to be relevant for him to teach on. This is obviously partially due to the clear teaching amongst Rabbinical Palestine of that time against homosexuality based on their clear understanding of God’s commands in Leviticus.
But then again you must also know that Jesus did in fact give insight to His plan for marriage, gender and sexuality in Mark 10: 5 and Matthew 19: 4 in which He cites and reaffirms God’s design of humanity as separate genders of “male and female” in Genesis 1 and 2. Furthermore, he goes on to describe that a “man will be united with his wife” (the context makes clear this is through marriage and sexual union.) Of course, you probably also know that their really isn’t a separately identifiable word for “wife” in this verse; rather the Greek literally means “woman,” and therefore the argument can’t be made that Jesus simply left out the homosexual couples in the audience. Furthermore, Jesus never dismisses any aspect of the Jewish law as it related to sexuality (though he did not enforce the capital punishment associated with it either, which is what I argued in my first post) but rather took it a step further: he encourages the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more, he tells the Jews that it is not only adultery to commit the act but to lust in the heart etc.
To assert that Jesus never mentions homosexuality specifically is accurate; to extend that to claim that He had no applicable teachings on the subject is categorically false.
Besides, we might not expect Jesus, a Jew who never traveled outside of Israel (other than to Egypt as a baby in our recorded history,) to have that many teachable instances to comment on homosexuality. Not as many as an Apostle such as Paul or any of the others who traveled extensively in the Greco-Roman surrounding culture in which both pederasty and frivolous homosexuality was common place. Therefore it makes sense that we find most of the explicit condemnations of this deviant behavior, based on the sexual ethics as taught by Jesus, in the writings of Paul, who traveled most extensively in Macedonia, Greece and Rome. Then again, it isn’t like Paul is alone on his condemnation of it in the New Testament; Jude 1 also offers Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of those who engaged in “sexual immorality and perversion.” This makes it clear that along with Ezekiel’s clarification that Sodom and Gomorrah also sinned by being greedy and inhospitable, the NT writers understand that their greed and inhospitality was expressed and joined by the perversion of homosexual behavior. This is combined with a clear and persistent condemnation of the sexually immoral parts of the law by the combined voice of the NT writers, including in the authoritative Acts 15 “Council of Jerusalem” in which the Apostles, led by the Holy Spirit according to Christian acceptance, affirmed that non-Jewish Christians still needed to honor God with sexual purity as defined by the Old Testament Law (which is the only authoritative definition of sexual immorality that they would point to.) This establishes clearly that the verses in Leviticus describing sexual perversion are still God’s standard in the Christian Covenant, though various other ceremonial aspects of the Law were disregarded (such as not eating shellfish, as our sadly misinformed “Christian expert” of a President pointed out in trying to mock those Christians who understand the difference between the ceremonial and moral requirements of the law.)
All this to say, Robert C., that not only I but thousands upon millions of other Christ-followers today and throughout the last 2,000 years and thousands upon millions of Jews before or after HAVE and ARE able to make a “religiously backed-up” case from definitive Scripture for God’s plan for marriage and purpose for heterosexuality, and against a whole slew of sexual perversions of which homosexuality is one. And just like you invited me, I would ask you to “practice what you preach” in making sure the case you make does reflect Scripture and the testimony of Christian history and not a humanist centered definition of Scripture’s message nor a progressive re-“vision” of Christian history.
Again, you are correct: “a case can be made for both realities.” But that doesn’t mean that both are convincing cases, nor that your case will long endure. It is a relatively recent progressivist version of Christianity, having only begun to appear in any seriousness within the last few hundred years at the most, and probably an insignificant blip in terms of impact among the list of heresies that Christianity will have eventually overcome. It has the full weight of tradition, Christian history and example, and the clearest reading of Scripture against it.
In reality, I wouldn’t say this iissn’t the “biggest” issue of Christ’s concern today. But then again, it is a matter of Truth and of people letting Christ deal with their sin, no matter what that is, so that they may experience true repentance and reorientation towards God’s purposes for their life. The message of Christ is the same to any who fail in any area of sexuality or any other sin: commit to me, accept my sacrifice, repent and live for me and not for yourself. There is no “singling out” of homosexuality here; in reality, the homosexual community often singles itself out by trying to lecture convicted Christians that there sin isn’t sin like everyone else’s.
I would also just like to clarify that, unlike Mr. Boswell, I do not “have a dog in the hunt” of this discussion. I was raised in a very liberal household and several family members and I have fundamental disagreements on this and several other issues of moral conviction, so I have not made life easier on myself there. Of course, the Christian position on this issue is not the “popular” position amongst my generation of Millenials and so I have not chosen what is convenient in that regard. Both myself and to a larger extent, my brother, have had either attractions to gay pornography or other men, or even dated men experimentally at one point or another in our lives. My brother is still undecided in his sexuality and relationship choices and that has been a source of tension that we have lovingly had to discuss and work out in our relationship (which is quite close and trusting I would add, though my brother is clear on my moral convictions and I am clear with his current position.) And last of all, I was raised not knowing any difference between God’s plan for heterosexuality and the lifestyles of homosexuals, and given the mockery and hate generated towards Christians on this issue, my sinfulness would have liked to keep it that way. Who wants to be rejected for holding firm to a moral conviction based on God’s standards? Is it like I decided one day I just didn’t like homosexuality, homosexuals, and wanted to hold a publically ridiculed position on the issue?
Not at all. For many Christians, they would candidly prefer that they didn’t ever confront this issue or that God didn’t have any standard regarding it. That way there wouldn’t be an unpopular ideal to fight for.
But to give in to that stands in direct contrast to what Christ stood for: to do so isn’t loving towards our neighbor. It sacrifices the truth about human sin to make people feel good in their current state, and that won’t produce the kind of life and love Christ wants every person, including those with homosexual attractions, to receive.
So, Robert, I have a lot to lose in my personal relationships and no real status or convenience to gain for standing by Christ’s teaching on homosexuality? Are you able to honestly say that you have no self-gratifying vested interest in opposing it?



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Dave

posted November 3, 2010 at 7:45 am


Fox Fan 6
I am a Christian who believes in life. I certainly can not condone a woman from taking life. Abortion is murder. There can be no compromise on this area. Roe vs Wade was a huge mistake that needs to be repealed.
All Christians should make voting for Pro Life candidates priority #1 over everything.



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JohnQ

posted November 3, 2010 at 9:11 am


Josh-
Perhaps you would benefit from a little more study of theology and a little less Bibliology.
Peace!



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JohnQ

posted November 3, 2010 at 9:14 am


Greg/Josh/foxfan6-
Clearly, not all of us Christians believe as you do. So, please do not present your opinions as representing all Christians.
Peace!



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Grumpy Old Person

posted November 3, 2010 at 10:07 am


foxfan6
“This is tantamount to saying that the republicans want to take away the right to choose an abortion.”
That is because that’s precisely what many Republicans DO want to do. Even in the cases of rape and incest.
Do some reading before you continue to spew such ill-informed ignorance.



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Robert C

posted November 3, 2010 at 11:04 am


Shut up Grump. You tend to make the discourse more bitter than anything else. You don’t help.
Very nice and long response Josh. Byut we are back where we started aren’t we. Christ never mentioned homosexuality. Despite your well thought out response to say that Christ was acting in the context of his time and place, an all seeing and an all knowing Son of God, demeans his dual nature and refutes his divinity. You really don’t want to travel that route, you would be an apostate. Of course Christ was aware of the issue, he lived with twelve men. Of course he didn’t mention it, there was no reason too. Your example of the one time he specifies a man and a woman is nice as far as it goes but if I followed your own context, then the reasoning for the endoresement of marriage as he spoke was an emphasis on the institution’s role in procreation. Procreation was the end all and be all basis for the real heterosexual emphasis in the ancient world. Procreation was vital to those cultures. Any diversion from that cultural essential was anathema. Well, that ain’t the case no’mo. Far from it, unless you happen to be Islamic. But judging from your responses, since you stated you were in seminary, you are not Catholic, and you line up within the Protestant fundementalist sects; which explains a lot by the way. Most Catholics would never speak in such dismissive terms as you. Notwithstanding the fact that the judeo christian world comprised an insignificant percentage of the cultures of the ancient world which are all readily dismissed in such pedantic “biblical” analysis.
No matter your position remains vacuous and unsupported. The fact that you claim ‘experimentation’ with your own sexuality does indeed give you a dog in the hunt. It also could speak towards your evident bitterness. Something to work on while in nmeditation. But now, spare us the rambling paragraphs of retort. We do not agree, we will never convince each other. Good luck in the seminary.



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foxfan6

posted November 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm


Grumpy, if you had read my post in its entirety, instead of just one sentence from it, you would have learned that no one can take any one else’s choice away from them; not even the republicans. That in itself, though, is a sweeping indictment, since I am sure that there are even some pro-abortion republicans out there somewhere; just as there are pro-life democrats out there as well.
I thought my post was well presented but obviously not well understood. All I said was that all of us have choice and no one can take that away from us. We had a choice prior to 1973; but back then, if we made the wrong choice and were caught, we paid a price. They simply took away the price after 1973, but not the right to choose. Now, isn’t that stated clearly enough?
In the case of rape and incest, you are punishing the baby for the sin and crime of the father and that isn’t fair. Is it the baby’s fault that its father was a jerk?



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Nicole Neroulias

posted November 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm


foxfan6, your argument is confusing because it sounds like you are equating a pre-1970s woman choosing to have an illegal back-alley abortion, risking death/infertility/arrest, with a 21st century woman choosing to terminate her pregnancy legally, at a licensed medical facility.
It’s one thing to be pro-life/anti-abortion rights vs. pro-choice/pro-abortion rights, or to fall somewhere in between depending on timing, circumstance, etc. (The PC/journalism terms keep evolving this — just like its “pre-born baby” vs. “fetus,” depending on your beliefs — but you know what I mean.) But stating that an illegal, dangerous procedure constitutes the same kind of choice as a legal, safe procedure is patently false logic.



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renee

posted November 4, 2010 at 9:33 am


I believe that people have the right to “feel” that a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion is wrong…but if indeed every woman that finds herself (and no woman can be pregnant without a man being in there somewhere) pregnant, be it by consent, rape, incest, whatever….please as a society be prepared for welfare to increase, child support from non-custodial parents be “guaranteed”, or “god forbid” more babies found in trash cans (horrible, but happens already)…
I do not think that abortion would be my choice (cannot say, I have never been pregnant, and maybe that’s my cross to bear), but I have to believe that choice is there for a greater good…



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Henrietta22

posted November 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm


Every person should be able to decide what needs to be done for their body. RoevsWade takes care of this “right”. I have no right to judge my fellow humans, and my fellow humans have no right to judge me. The fact that I would not have an abortion is my choice, not the governments choice. If it bothers anti-abortion people, pray about it, and then go about your own personal business. Stop griping so much, that people that are unbalanced mentally, will chose to kill good doctors because your words, parades, etc. are their “Cheerleaders”. This is not “Taliban” country.



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BE

posted November 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm


Who speaks for the baby? The baby doesn’t have a voice or a choice!



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foxfan6

posted November 5, 2010 at 12:43 am


Nicole, we all have the choice to do good or evil. We had the choice to do good or evil before 1973 just as we now have that choice. If we chose to rob a bank, or to steal a car, or to have an abortion before 1973, we would have paid a price for those actions if we had been caught; usually jail time. If we choose to rob a bank or to steal a car in the 21st century, we still pay a price if we are caught; however, if we choose abortion in the 21st century; guess what, there is no longer a consequence for that action; proving that the only thing that has been removed is the consequence and that we still have choice. No one can take away your/our right to choose.
You say you are confused. How can you be confused when it is explained so clearly? Maybe you just don’t believe you and all other women had a choice back before 1973. I assure you that you did. You could have chosen abortion; that’s one choice, or you could have chosen to have the baby and adopt it out; that’s another choice, or you could have chosen to have the baby and raise it yourself; that’s still another choice. Wow, there were three choices right there, and I’m sure there were more. I certainly hope this clears things up for you.



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foxfan6

posted November 5, 2010 at 1:21 am


Henrietta22, “I have no right to judge my fellow humans, and my fellow humans have no right to judge me.”
I would recommend, Henrietta22, that you never volunteer for jury duty, because that is what those people do; they judge people as to their guilt or innocence; but the key word here is, they “judge.” I recommend that if you are a lawyer, you never accept an appointment to be a judge; because that is what they do. In a civilized society, we need rules and when people refuse to follow them, they have to be judged.
“The fact that I would not have an abortion is my choice, not the government’s choice.” Good choice, but you see, many women do choose to abort and that is not a good choice. That is taking the life of another living human being, which we civilized human beings had decided was unacceptable; at least before 1973. In 1973, the case of roe v wade changed that. Now I don’t know whether roe v wade decided that the baby inside the woman either wasn’t alive or that it wasn’t human; but they decided that it would be all right to kill it.
As long as there are babies in jeopardy, we will never stop “griping”, as you call it.



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emmayche

posted November 5, 2010 at 11:50 am


@Henrietta22: “I have no right to judge my fellow humans, and my fellow humans have no right to judge me.”
No question there. But the problem is that, when it comes to abortion, we’re not JUDGING, we’re OBSERVING:
1. Is it sinful? Can’t answer; that would be a question between you and God, and would be judging on my part.
2. Is it objectively wrong? Yes. Just as stealing a loaf of bread when you’re starving is still objectively wrong, abortion is objectively wrong.
And as far as you getting to decide what’s done with your own body, that’s as may be – but the unborn child has its own, genetically unique, body, which is not a part of yours. If you can decide what can be done with another person’s body, what keeps someone else from deciding what can be done with yours?
3. So if you have an abortion, are you doing something wrong? Yes.
There’s no judging involved here. Abortion is objectively wrong; if I were a woman having an abortion, I’d believe myself to have committed a grave sin – but, once again, we are told to leave that kind of judgment to God when it comes to the actions of others.



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Nicole Neroulias

posted November 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm


Abortion is not a black-and-white issue, emmayche. Different religious groups have different teachings, and since America is an extremely diverse nation — and not a theocracy — what is “sinful” for some is not necessarily what should be illegal for all. See also: premarital sex, homosexuality, bacon, birth control pills, immodest attire, Top 40 radio, etc.
There are pro-choice Americans who would not personally make the choice to have an abortion. There are pro-life Americans who make a distinction for the morning-after pill, and/or the first trimester, and/or cases of rape or incest, and/or the mother’s life being in jeopardy by carrying a child to term. There are people who hate abortions, but see the legal option as preferable to having newborns dying in dumpsters, teenaged girls bleeding out on makeshift operating tables, etc.
So, given the complex reality we live in, perhaps our elected officials can focus on the common ground: unwanted pregnancy prevention and encouraging adoptive and foster families. That is, assuming there will be any effort to find common ground in the next two years. Time will tell!



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Robert C

posted November 6, 2010 at 11:48 am


The context of the times we live in now is different from the context of the time before Roe v Wade. There are better options, better methodologies, better preventive resources. Sometimes what is sinful and what is illegal is really the same thing; like, ethnic cleansing, forced labor camps, wmd’s, pedophilia, etc.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted November 8, 2010 at 10:39 pm


Robert C
November 3, 2010 11:04 AM
“Shut up Grump.”
Me: No. YOU shut up.
Robert C
(Sometime in the near future)
No. YOU shut up.
R, your response is sooo ‘helpful’, sooo ‘adult’.
“You tend to make the discourse more bitter than anything else.”
How so? By pointing out inconvenient facts? Like, um, “That is because that’s precisely what many Republicans DO want to do. Even in the cases of rape and incest.” This is truth. You mistake it for bitterness. It wouldn’t seem “bitter” to you if there weren’t a modicum of truth to it.
What next? Are you going to call me misogynistic again?
“You don’t help.”
And your telling others to “shut up” IS “helpful”?



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Nicole Neroulias

posted November 9, 2010 at 1:39 am


Let’s keep the discussion on topic, and not about each other. Thanks.



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Robert C

posted November 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm


LMAO………turns off the light….goes intio the next room….rests his case.



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posted 4:57:28pm Feb. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Fun Friday: Atheist Temple Planned for UK's Nonbelievers
Author Alain de Botton has announced plans to build an Atheist temple in the United Kingdom, presumably so nonbelievers have a place to gather and share their philosophies. Um... isn't that what Starbucks is for? Also, I can't wait to see how the architect will handle this kind of project. May

posted 2:53:42pm Jan. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Alaska Airlines: High Payers No Longer Offered Sky Prayers
Alaska Airlines, now the country's seventh-largest airline, has announced it will stop offering prayer cards with its in-flight meals. (It's just raining religion news in the great unchurched Pacific Northwest lately.) I've flown Alaska several times since moving to Seattle, but I confess that I'

posted 11:07:56am Jan. 26, 2012 | read full post »

Washington's Gay Marriage Debate: Clergy vs. Clergy
I reported for Reuters at the Washington state Capitol yesterday, covering the public hearings on a gay marriage bill -- and in between, the breaking news that the state Senate now has enough votes to pass the bill. (The House already had enough votes.) It now appears that Washington's lawmakers wi

posted 11:24:39am Jan. 24, 2012 | read full post »

What Israel's Domestic Policy & Santorum Supporters Have in Common
Hope everyone had an introspective Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, whether observed as a faith-related holiday, a nice break from the work week or something else entirely. Check out this story from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly about how mandatory sentencing for drug crimes and non-violent offens

posted 1:32:44pm Jan. 18, 2012 | read full post »




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