God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: The Ever-Widening Evangelical Agenda

posted by gp_intern

This article in Sunday’s LA Times caught my attention:

Evangelical leader Rick Warren came to the heart of the religious right movement last week to criticize a narrow focus on abortion, homosexuality and pornography as un-Christian.

Strikingly, top Christian conservatives agreed.

During a three-day summit here, members of Focus on the Family and Campus Crusade for Christ joined Warren and dozens of other pastors from across the nation in a pledge to devote more of their resources and clout to helping children in need.

“We’ve got some people who only focus on moral purity and couldn’t care less about the poor, the sick, the uneducated. And they haven’t done zip for those people,” said Warren, a mega-church pastor in California and author of the best-selling “The Purpose-Driven Life.”

Warren hastened to say that he also opposed abortion and gay marriage. But too often, he said, Christians these days are defined by their “big mouth” – what they argue against, not what they embrace. He pointed to a verse from the Book of James that calls caring for orphans an essential element of a “pure and undefiled” faith.

“It’s time for the church to stop debating the Bible and start doing it,” Warren said.

I’ve had some good conversations with Rick Warren about his deep passion to serve the poor. He’s helping to guide a shift among religious conservatives that should not go without notice or welcome. I pray that this movement keeps moving – beyond personal changes that produce acts of charity (where it always begins) to structural changes that bring about social justice. The criticism Warren alludes to – that conservative activists seem to care more about unborn children than about those living and suffering in poverty – has often been accurate. So when they begin to talk about moving from a narrow focus to a broader agenda that includes loving and sacrificial action for the poor, it feels like a movement of the spirit; one that shows there’s hope for the church, and hope for the poor.



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Ben Wheaton

posted May 15, 2007 at 1:12 am


Yes, but… While I feel that Rick Warren is right, and Jim Wallis as well–to an extent–I nevertheless am nervous about the wandering gaze from abortion. Lump the war in Iraq (a moot question still, by the way), poverty, and any other social ill next to abortion, and the million babies killed every year outweighs them all. The intense focus on abortion has begun to shift the debate in the U.S. and already the legislation as well. Continued pressure is needed to achieve the goal of a ban on abortion by increments. Jim Wallis, I fear, is merely getting evangelicals to vote democrat while abandoning the pro-life movement (his protestations to the contrary nothwithstanding). Also, um, some of us oppose Rev. Wallis’ economics on grounds of common sense and prudence. Government programs are not necessarily the best way to go. And neither is universal healthcare. And unions.



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paradox

posted May 15, 2007 at 2:46 am


Well, yes there is the abortion thing, god forbid, if we let that go for a minute. The point of this article I HOPE, is that the religious right can FINALLY let go of such controversial topics they’ve just pounded into the political world the past few years. It creates divisiveness, and it creates hate. They’ve used this to “define” people of one political party or another. What has been lost in this hatefulness and divisiveness, is love for our fellow man. People, including me….a Christian, now have a “roll my eyes” thing when we hear from a James Dobson, or Rick Warren. They’ve spent so much time criticizing others…that what’s been lost is how our faith is really about help. Helping others. Recognizing the downtrodden, helping kids in poverty, helping people down on their luck. My religion is not about hate. It’s about caring for others. Isn’t it about time that we start promoting that again? I don’t recall growing up, where I was embarrassed about what a Christian espoused…I related to it. Now? The extremists have taken it from the pulpit to the political realm…..and it makes me sick to see it. It’s as sinfull as the things they bash, in my opinion. The last election proved it. The general public is much more middle of the road than what we see from these people. And I know they don’t define or have any influence on my view of God, and what I feel a true Christian should do in this world. It’s not a huge number of people’s identity. We don’t hate…or promote it. We love or try to, and try to accept others into our brotherhood. Hate never converts…why do they try? Why do they take my religion and turn it into something it’s not….and give me a bad name too? I’m not happy about that. I’m angry about it. paradox.



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Brent

posted May 15, 2007 at 3:03 am


As a “Christian Secularist” I find it heartening that some in the evangelical movement are at last moving beyond a narrow sexual and reproductive poltics to embrace other important issues such as peace, poverty, justice, and the environment. A move from a masculinized religion of strident righteousness that focuses on the correctness of a few acts to a total Christian agenda that is interested in a loving concern for and action regarding all of the central problems of our times represents a more wholesome equilibrium in which goodness is balanced with righteousness, love is balanced with toughness.Such a redefinition will do much to convince secularists such as myself that there is more to modern American evangelism than a narrow and rigid neo-Puritanism.



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butch

posted May 15, 2007 at 3:35 am


Three really well written post, give me specifics about what you want to do, I want answers. What is your program? Don t knock yourself out, just one.



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Unsympathetic reader

posted May 15, 2007 at 3:55 am


Ben Wheaton: “Lump the war in Iraq (a moot question still, by the way), poverty, and any other social ill next to abortion, and the million babies killed every year outweighs them all.” Work on poverty and other social ills and you will reduce abortions. Dropping the insistence on abstinence-only sex-ed wouldn’t hurt, either.



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Ben Wheaton

posted May 15, 2007 at 3:56 am


Paradox, you seem to be saying that Christians should not be what you deem to be ‘judgmental,’ but, lest we forget, Christ himself was exceedingly ‘judgmental.’ Also, I don’t think that a condemnation of abortion is hate. If you see a tremendous evil in the world, do you not condemn it? And, if abortion is murder, than it is the prime evil in this country right now. Please be very clear–I am not saying other issues do not matter, but I am concerned that you are trying to make it a secondary priority that will be all but ignored. This seems to be what you are advocating–that Christians avoid such ‘divisive’ issues as abortion because condemning it only creates hate. Balderdash. Democracy is divisive, get used to it. Christ was divisive. What we should be careful about is being divisive for no good reason, but 1 million deaths each year is an excellent reason. Butch, ideas? Well, for starters, the focus on other things is good, but I think that a statement on abortion, confirming that it remains a priority, would be appropriate.



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butch

posted May 15, 2007 at 4:37 am


but I think that a statement on abortion, confirming that it remains a priority, would be appropriate. Ben WheatonYour statement is noted, what do you want to do for the poor or are you a one trick pony.



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Another nonymous

posted May 15, 2007 at 4:38 am


To those who really want to lower the abortion rate in this country, I have three words: Universal Health Care.



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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 4:40 am


“Well, yes there is the abortion thing, god forbid, if we let that go for a minute.” This is condescending. What is the issue that is most important to you? Now, pretend someone said “well, God Forbid we let (your issue) go for a minute.” What would your reaction be?Perhaps you would take it in stride. If so, good for you. But surely you can understand why it would frustrate others. May I ask what the most important political issue is, to you? “The point of this article I HOPE, is that the religious right can FINALLY let go of such controversial topics they’ve just pounded into the political world the past few years.” I don’t think Rick Warren is suggesting that we should let it go. Rick Warren believes abortion should be illegal. “It creates divisiveness, and it creates hate.” Actually, I think the misinformation campaign surrounding abortion has more to do with this. According to a recent study, more than 60% believe that abortions should be illegal in circumstances that account for 90% of the country’s abortions. Shall we kowtow, then, to an angry minority on this, by virtue of the fact that they are angry? I don’t see why. “They’ve used this to “define” people of one political party or another.” How so? Are you talking about the pro-life vs. pro-choice labelling? Both sides use these labels as a political shorthand. I have not been persuaded that it is a big problem.



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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 4:42 am


“What has been lost in this hatefulness and divisiveness, is love for our fellow man.” Now this presumes that abortion is not murder. For the pro-life side, this is not a settled question. For me, loving my fellow man does not entail shrugging my shoulders at the question of whether 1.3 million people should be murdered legally on an annual basis. “People, including me….a Christian, now have a “roll my eyes” thing when we hear from a James Dobson, or Rick Warren.” Why should I care whether you roll your eyes? What comments by Rick Warren have made you roll your eyes? “They’ve spent so much time criticizing others…” With which Warren criticism do you find fault? “that what’s been lost is how our faith is really about help.” Let me ask this. If a bill were proposed that would provide $100 billion for adoption reform, $250 billion for aid to single mothers, and $25 billion to ensure that deadbeat dads paid their fari share, but also outlawed abortion, would you support it? Yes or no? Anyone can feel free to answer this question. If I get an honest answer, I’ll eat jellyfish. “My religion is not about hate. It’s about caring for others.” You might be surprised to learn that people who disagree with you politically also care about others. “I don’t recall growing up, where I was embarrassed about what a Christian espoused…” I, too, am embarassed by how Christians articulate their political views oftentimes. That said, w/r/t abortion, I do believe history will smile on Christians, to the extent that we work to put this evil to bed. “It’s as sinfull as the things they bash, in my opinion. The last election proved it.” This is awfully vague. There were a number of issues facing Republicans, not least of which the fact that they failed to reach conservatives. “The general public is much more middle of the road than what we see from these people.” Not sure I agree with this. Obviously, if you take the average, then you wind up with something in the middle. But there are a lot of conservatives, liberals, and everything in between. It is not as though every single person sits at some sort of political center. “Hate never converts…why do they try?” Why do who try? I don’t think Warren is hateful at all. Have you read Purpose Driven Life? It is a wonderful book. Dobson’s books aren’t hateful either, though his entre’s into politics have been a bit bumbling. “Why do they take my religion and turn it into something it’s not….and give me a bad name too? I’m not happy about that. I’m angry about it.” I agree, though I feel the same way about Al Sharpton and those who would label our President the anti-Christ.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:14 am


I believe that the church has to be salt and light. There is no politician that will support all of my values. Nor is there a politician that will support all of the values of anybody on this blog. The left tends to focus on very important macro-issues- poverty, peace, justice, etc. The right focuses on personal moral issues. Both talk past each other. I have become so frustrated with it that on one Sunday I go to a theologically liberal church where I hear good teaching on peace, social justice, etc.. The next Sunday I go to a more conservative evangelical church where I am certain that most people do not share my left-leaning views. I see a place for that conservative evangelical church because it teaches strong personal moral values. I do not feel like a complete Christian without aspects of both churches.



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Another nonymous

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:19 am


Kevin is right about Rick Warren, and this item proves it. Warren understands that the issue of abortion can’t be separated from the issue of caring from the poor, because they are the same issue. This, I think is Jim Wallis’s point too, and if he is in fact getting Democrats to abandon the pro-life movement (which I doubt) it is in order to redefine the movement, not to scrap it.Whatever your ideological position, it is a fact that countries where abortion is illegal do not have lower abortion rates. Countries with universal health care do.



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butch

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:26 am


Sarasota I understand your searching journey and I listen to many sides but my frustration is that we never get to concrete answers in the middle of any issue brought forward here on SoJo.Give me a concrete workable program addressing any issue even abortion that works now with current laws. Until the law on abortion changes then we can only deal with the situation as is. Now give me a specific program dealing with the growing number in poverty?



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butch

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:32 am


Sara By the way if you can talk about any issue in concrete terms I ll ignore the political operatives.



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butch

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:44 am


Countries with universal health care do. Another nonymous This qualifies to my definition of concrete programs, and I didn t know about the fact that countries that have universal healthcare have lower abortion rates, very interesting. For those who appose abortion why not talk about something that would reduce abortion now while we have laws that allow women choice. If you want to change the constitution what is wrong with doing other things to reduce abortion.



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butch

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:53 am


Just dawned on me universal healthcare works on all of the issues I ve said are important to me. Children, elderly, mentally ill. Many believe that universal healthcare will cost less than we currently pay for healthcare because we will have more interest in preventive methods that will keep people out of doctors offices and hospitals.



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squeaky

posted May 15, 2007 at 6:15 am


Ben Wheaton: “Christ himself was exceedingly ‘judgmental.'” True–but He seemed to aim judgementalism at those who thought they were religiously righteous. Any judgement aimed at the downtrodden was mixed with a heavy dose of compassion and love, and really not that judgemental, afterall. “Let me ask this. If a bill were proposed that would provide $100 billion for adoption reform, $250 billion for aid to single mothers, and $25 billion to ensure that deadbeat dads paid their fari share, but also outlawed abortion, would you support it? Yes or no? Anyone can feel free to answer this question. If I get an honest answer, I’ll eat jellyfish.” I hope you have access to some fresh jellyfish, because I would support it. As tongue in cheek as you are being, you’ve hit the nail on the head as to why I am pro-life but do not support laws against abortion. Abortion laws are nothing more than band-aids for far deeper issues, some of which you mention above. If these and other issues, such as what Unsympathetic points out (“Work on poverty and other social ills and you will reduce abortions”) all laws will do is force abortion to go underground again, and that is not a good thing by any stretch of the imagination. Pro-choice people do see the Christian stance on abortion as hateful, and the reason is they see the rights of a fetus, who many don’t believe is a person, as trumping the life and safety of the mother. Part of the problem comes when Christians don’t strongly offer visible, tangible solutions concerning the issues you brought up. I’m not at all saying I agree with the statements of pro-choice advocates. On the contrary. However, I do think it is important to understand their side of the issue, and I honestly see little to no attempt made on either side of the debate for people to try to understand each other. I for one am glad Rick Warren is advocating for this wider range of concern among Christians. I think issues like abortion get very oversimplified when strong, uncompromising stances are made. Instead of focusing on only one issue, we may find that focusing on other issues such as social justice, that these issues are actually interelated, and working on one may have positive effects on other issues.



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Amazon Creek

posted May 15, 2007 at 6:21 am


Great article! I was so glad when I heard this. Answers to prayers prayed a long time? And…wonder of wonders…for once I agree with Kevin – can you imagine that? Golleeeee….. I also take strong exception to anyone that tries to lump Rick Warren into the same category as Dobson, etc…you know…the list of “usual suspects”. I’ve read the Purpose-Drive Life – and thought it was a great book. He appears to be a genuinely sincere person who genuinely tries to follow God and do what is right. Would I always agree with everything he says? I doubt it…but…then there is probably nobody I always agree with. We’re all just journeying and growing in Christ – every last one of us. As long as folks are sincerely trying…you gotta cut them some slack – just as we have to each cut ourselves some slack most days. “We all see through a glass dimly”. Now there ARE people who SHOULD be exposed – because they are bringing disgrace on us all. But…even sincere folks – we don’t always get it all right. And there’s also a place for “being patient with one another.” We ALL get it wrong – quite frequently.



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l'etranger

posted May 15, 2007 at 6:26 am


Another nonyous – do you have a citation for the universal health care/ lower abortion link – I’m not doubting that it’s true but I can’t really see what the prime causal link would be. Butch – two good pointsFor those who appose abortion why not talk about something that would reduce abortion now while we have laws that allow women choice.Good point – the interesting thing is that the only significant reduction in abortion rate in the US was during the Clinton administration, which if nothing else shows that vociferousness of opposition to Roe v Wade does not correlate with reducing the numbers of abortions. Many believe that universal healthcare will cost less than we currently pay for healthcare because we will have more interest in preventive methodsThis is almost certainly true although not necessarily for that reason – the reasons for US very high levels of expenditure on healthcare are complex but include Multi-purchasers and multiple providers leading to massive bureaucracy around chasing of the dollars. (bureaucracy costs in US healthcare are about 20-25% of total compared to less than 10% in most socialised systems – and about 2% at the Veterans Administration). Fragmentation caused by the plethora of providers and purchasers making the continuity of patient care a nightmare and increasing costs and venture capitalist investment in healthcare infrastructure – particularly diagnostic imaging equipment – encouraging over testing and over-intervention. Jack Wennburg and Elliot Fisher have both shown pretty convincingly that the worst outcomes are in the areas of the US that undertake the most activity. Any sensible universal scheme would address the first two and could plausibly address the third as well.



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butch

posted May 15, 2007 at 6:58 am


and working on one may have positive effects on other issues. squeaky Sorry squeak no honest answer but give me a positive action plan on any issue. You describe both sides pretty well but no action plan. If they are related and surely they are, where is the place to act.



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paradox

posted May 15, 2007 at 9:03 am


Well, I got bashed by a right wing person, for whom Abortion is the key in their life. No surprise there. that’s my point. These people who are so “certain” of their faith, their views, their agendas? They give christians a bad name…but that’s only my opinion. I happen to believe in that concept of a “religion based on doubt” vs. A “religion based on certainty”. While I feel like my religion is the right way to go? I do have enough “doubt” that I might be able to listen to someone else’s viewpiont. People who are certain? No way.And that is my point. The abortion people, the gay bashing people, the moral authorities among us? Are CERTAIN…..they are right…we are wrong. I doubt it. I’m not certain; but I AM CERTAIN…that I don’t know everything. So I’m willing to give others who disagree with me the benefit of the doubt. If you can’t do that as a Christian? Then how will we ever get beyond our differences with the Muslims currently. I don’t agree with that view…but how can you possibly get beyond anything with anyone who disagrees…if you have the only answer?just wondering about the “hawks” out there who seem to “know everything”. I haven’t been too impressed so far. paradox.



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Payshun

posted May 15, 2007 at 9:15 am


I tried to read the Purpose Driven Life and I gagged. It was about as deep as a puddle. But I have to say that Rick’s love for the poor is inspiring. That man has given me hope for evangelicals when I really did not have much left. p



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Sarasotakid

posted May 15, 2007 at 10:52 am


Give me a concrete workable program addressing any issue even abortion that works now with current laws. Until the law on abortion changes then we can only deal with the situation as is. Butch Butch, I think that in terms of a program, l’Etranger hit the nail on the head and Wallis posted on this subject earlier. For example instead of advocating an outright ban on abortion, the church should support policies that cause for a net decline in abortions, which would include better adoption laws, places where pregnant women can go and have their babies without having to abort them, after birth care and support for mother and child. The church should be a witness to how things should be done and not an accuser. Hence I do not buy into this argument that you have to be for banning all abortion to be a Christian. The church should be politically active in supporting the less fortunate. This includes demanding funding for anti-poverty and education programs so that our people are cared for. Also the church should be active in demanding a foreign policy that is reflective of Christ’s values of peace. Politicians should be held to the fire on these issues. But probably most importantly the church must a place of local community where people can safely go for help with any number of personal problems in a loving, non-judgmental environment. Butch that is about as specific as I can get at this early hour. What do you think?



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letjusticerolldown

posted May 15, 2007 at 12:56 pm


Paradox–Thank you for your contributions. We can learn together. Thank you for granting others the ‘benefit of the doubt.’ I tend to be a ‘know-it-all’ and often include my theological dogmas as my ultimate ‘weapon.’ I am not sure this tendency is particularly unique to any particular wing of humanity. If I were not devotedly Christian I would still like to ‘Be Right and Look Good.’ My hunch is those of us who take the time to post on blogs do so because of passionately held views. I hope we each grow in our capacity to speak so others can hear; and listen so others can speak. In your comments about doubt and certainty I find guidance in how to shape my attitude towards others who post. Each life is a rich 3-dimensional tapestry. I do not know .01% of the experiences, pains, joys, and loves of your life. I will try to listen well.



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letjusticerolldown

posted May 15, 2007 at 1:27 pm


Sarasotakid’s call for church as community where people can safely go for help is on target, in my book. For three years, prior to her death last Fall, I cared for my wife 24/7 and our three small children. I noticed when I most needed more help, I often lacked the energy to even think clearly or ask for help. When life unravels we need to be connected to others. And when life’s demands are most intense, when we most need stronger connections, we often become more isolated. Government and churches have very distinctive roles. But, YES, if churches would both receive with open arms; and ‘go out’ to extend open arms to persons whom life has run over; our passionate love for our neighbor and God would mature.



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Another nonymous

posted May 15, 2007 at 2:31 pm


Another nonyous – do you have a citation for the universal health care/ lower abortion link – I’m not doubting that it’s true but I can’t really see what the prime causal link would be. Listen to Jimmy Carter’s recent interview with Christa Tippet on Speaking of Faith, available on NPR’s website. The causal link is quite simple; most women who get abortions are poor, young and single and think they can’t afford to have a child. In most cases they’re right.



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Ben Wheaton

posted May 15, 2007 at 3:45 pm


In Canada, where there is universal health care, approximately 100 000 abortions occur every year. Now, extrapolate that number to the U.S.: 1000000. The exact same. Also, while universal health care systems may cost less than the American health system, the services provided are also a lot less. Not to pick on Canada, but keep in mind the wait times…(i’ve had some personal experiences of Canadian healthcare). Of course, given that Canada’s system is ranked 30th in the world (the States is #37), I wouldn’t use it as an example. The best systems are a hybrid, but even they have their own unique problems. The only nation that currently sustains a universal health system that is sustainable for the long term is Norway, and that’s because they are sitting on a lake of oil. Of course, the States is the same, but perhaps free-market solutions might be more appropriate than government ones. In point of fact, I am not opposed to universal health care per se. Romney’s system in Massachusetts is a good example, although perhaps not applicable everywhere.



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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 4:08 pm


“I tried to read the Purpose Driven Life and I gagged. It was about as deep as a puddle.” Why does it have to be deep? I’ve heard this criticism so many times. If Christians would just do the simple things the Bible commands, the church would flourish.



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Another nonymous

posted May 15, 2007 at 4:12 pm


In Canada, where there is universal health care, approximately 100 000 abortions occur every year. That was true in 2002, the latest year for which I could find statistics, with a population of over 33,000,000. In the US the same year, with a population not yet 300,000,000, the abortion was was 1,287,000. That makes the per capita abortion rate in the US nearly 50% higher.



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jesse

posted May 15, 2007 at 4:24 pm


You guys, It’s always problematic to extrapolate from other countries to apply to the US. There are many differences between the US and Canada besides just health care. The important question is what policies IN THE US have led to significant reductions in abortion rates. Outside of different pro-life laws, e.g. ending Medicaid funding of abortion, informed consent, etc., I’m not aware of any. No one really thinks that the 95/10 Democrats for Life policies will have much of an impact on abortion rates (despite their bi-partisan support).It’s also telling a small part of the story to say that Clinton reduced abortion. The fact is that the economy was good during his two terms, and that had an impact, no doubt. But wouldn’t that just say that improving the economy (the goal of Republicans, as well as Democrats) should be most important in reducing abortions? This also leaves out the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision in 1992, which led to a flood of prolife laws passed on the state level. These had an impact, as well.Lastly, I do not doubt that poverty is linked to abortion, but there’s also a few third variables that could account for the relationship…lack of male support, increases in unintended pregnancies, etc. I’m not convinced that if all those living below the poverty line were given, say, $30k a year that this would lead to dramatic decreases in abortion…it could actually lead to increases in male abandonment, which could then lead to greater abortion rates in the longterm.In sum, lack of economic support is not the ONLY reason women give for having an abortion…there are usually several reasons (lack of partner support being even more significant, I’d imagine).



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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 4:33 pm


“I hope you have access to some fresh jellyfish, because I would support it. As tongue in cheek as you are being, you’ve hit the nail on the head as to why I am pro-life but do not support laws against abortion.” Looks like I have an appointment for Dim Sum. It was a turn of phrase. I actually like jellyfish. I am glad you would support a measure along the lines I described. I would also argue that the majoriy of Americans would. This is exactly the sort of compromise that would unite Americans, but it is forbidden by the courts. “Abortion laws are nothing more than band-aids for far deeper issues, some of which you mention above.” I don’t entirely agree with this. Poverty is one of the reasons why women opt for abortion, but there are a number of women who could afford to have a baby, who simply don’t want to. Some women simply do not want to have to go through pregnancy. That isn’t right. Regardless of your viewpoint w/r/t the efficacy of laws that would potentially end abortion, Christians should be reframing the argument. That people feel entitled to have an abortion is a moral outrage. “I’m not at all saying I agree with the statements of pro-choice advocates. On the contrary. However, I do think it is important to understand their side of the issue,”I feel as though I do understand the other side of the issue. I also feel that there is some cognitive dissonance at play, in which people allow themselves to believe something they know is wrong.



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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 4:44 pm


“Well, I got bashed by a right wing person, for whom Abortion is the key in their life. No surprise there.” Nobody bashed you.”They give christians a bad name…but that’s only my opinion.” You just bashed whoever you are referring to (me?).”And that is my point. The abortion people, the gay bashing people, the moral authorities among us? Are CERTAIN…..they are right…we are wrong.” You seem awfully CERTAIN about what the “abortion people” and “gay bashing people” believe. Further, you insinuate that the two groups are the same. “I doubt it. I’m not certain; but I AM CERTAIN…that I don’t know everything. So I’m willing to give others who disagree with me the benefit of the doubt.” I’m not feelin’ that from your posts here, to be honest with you.But to your grander point, by faith in God is not one of doubt. God is not fallible, and he doesn’t expect wavering faith from me. However, political opinions are certainly fallible. I don’t hold anything against those who are pro-choice for that reason, though I reserve the right to disagree. Simply believing I am right about an issue doesn’t make me judgmental. I asked a number of questions about your viewpoint, and you kind of ignored them. Why not answer them, and engage the debate, instead of tsk-tsking others for how they act on their beliefs?



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:20 pm


Ben Wheaton, “And, if abortion is murder, than it is the prime evil in this country right now.” The trouble is, we do NOT all agree that abortion IS murder, and therein lies the problem. If YOU think abortion is wrong, then don’t have one. Others disagree with you and resent your intrusion into their private lives.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:28 pm


Another nonymous, “To those who really want to lower the abortion rate in this country, I have three words: Universal Health Care.” And I have ONE word: contraception. Too bad certain religions (specifically the ones who are vehemently, vociferously dead-set against reproductive choice) won’t allow them, or even consider allowing them. For them to bemoan the number of abortions and at the same time forbid people, even heterosexually married people, from not getting pregnant in the first place, is sheer hypocrisy if not lunacy. It is an intrusion into a very private matter – how many children a couple wish to bring into the world (usually how many they can AFFORD to bring into the world) ought to be NONE of anybody else’s business.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:31 pm


kevin s, “Shall we kowtow, then, to an angry minority on this, by virtue of the fact that they are angry? I don’t see why.” Of course you don’t kevin. But instead of “kowtow[ing]”, maybe you should just leave other people alone to make their private decisions. Maybe then they’d stop being so “angry”.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:36 pm


Sarasotakid, “I see a place for that conservative evangelical church because it teaches strong personal moral values.” Sad to hear that your “theologically liveral” Church doesn’t also teach strong personal moral values. Mine does. As do others I have visited.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 15, 2007 at 5:40 pm


butch, “For those who appose abortion why not talk about something that would reduce abortion now while we have laws that allow women choice.” Using contraceptives would reduce abortions. Maybe pass some laws that require all pharmacists to stock and sell them, instead of allowing them to hide behind the “my religion forbids it” line. Not all pharmacists’ customers are of the same religious conviction as the anti-choice pharmacists.



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canucklehead

posted May 15, 2007 at 6:19 pm


“It’s always problematic to extrapolate from other countries to apply to the US. There are many differences between the US and Canada besides just health care…” jesseFor what it’s worth, at present Canada has no laws against abortion.



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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 6:51 pm


“Of course you don’t kevin. But instead of “kowtow[ing]”, maybe you should just leave other people alone to make their private decisions. Maybe then they’d stop being so “angry”.” Translation: Stop disagreeing with people and they won’t be angry. The fact that you disagree about what constitutes murder doesn’t make me wrong about whether or not an act is murder. Your disagreement is not any more a trump card than mine.



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Another nonymous

posted May 15, 2007 at 7:00 pm


So far, this discussion has served as a stark illustration of why being pro-life isn’t a single issue. Jesse, I absolutely agree with you that it’s complicated, which was actually my original point. Many factors, including better male behavior, use of contraception, a strong economy that benefits everyone, better support for unwed mothers and poor families – and the list could go on indefinitely – all contribute to the total picture. But there’s more at work here as well. Kevin may be right about “cognitive dissonance,” but the fact is that many women regard the right to choose to have an abortion as the very foundation of everything else that they have achieved in the struggle for equal rights. I have had many discussions with people on both sides of the pro-life/pro-choice divide, and anyone who thinks that the latter are less committed, passionate, articulate and morally driven than the former is kidding him/herself. I am probably coming across as a left-winger on this blog, but you all should know that in the broader society, on this issue at least, I’m anything but. I do try to listen, though…



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Ben Wheaton

posted May 15, 2007 at 7:02 pm


Curiouser and curiouser, so, if I go out and murder someone else, should you not stop me? If you disagree with murder, won’t you try to stop me? The old canard about not interfering with people’s private lives won’t fly here. If abortion is murder, then we ought to legislate against it. If it is not, then you are correct. However, I think that I am right, so I will act upon that belief.



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Mike Hayes

posted May 15, 2007 at 7:12 pm


Jim Wallis, Thanks for pointing this out. What a positive change… may it continue and may we all provide more and more of our charity budgets to help persons in parts of our world who live on less than $1 per day… and homeless persons in our own country.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 15, 2007 at 7:55 pm


The CDC publishes an annual abortion surveillance report. Apparently the CDC collects data on race and age of women having abortions, but I could not find information about in that report on socioeconomic demographics. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5511a1.htm?s_cid=ss5511a1_e The CDC report referenced: Jones RK, Darroch JE, Henshaw SK. Patterns in the socioeconomic characteristics of women obtaining abortions in 2000–2001. Perspectives Sex Reproductive Health 2002;34:226 35, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=1538-6341(200209%2F10)34%3A5%3C226%3APITSCO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-TIn 2000, 21 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age had an abortion. Women who are aged 18-29, unmarried, black or Hispanic, or economically disadvantaged-including those on Medicaid-have higher abortion rates. The overall abortion rate decreased by 11% between 1994 and 2000. The decline was greatest for 15-17-year-olds, women in the highest income category, those with college degrees and those with no religious affiliation. Abortion rates for women with incomes below 200% of poverty and for women with Medicaid coverage increased between 1994 and 2000. The rate of decline in abortion among black and Hispanic adolescents was lower than that among white adolescents, and the abortion rate among poor teenagers increased substantially.The CDC abortion surveillance report shows that the rate of abortions in girls under 15 years of age has been higher that the rates of abortion in all other age groups since the CDC began collecting data on abortions (1973), and trended upward from 2000 to 2003 (the most recently published data). In a qualitative study of women visiting a family planning and prenatal clinic in inner-city New Orleans, Kendall et al. report:when respondents raised the issue of abortion spontaneously, they portrayed it as less admirable because it allowed young women to duck the inevitable responsibility of motherhood. Of the 72 women who responded to the scenario questions, 47 were opposed to abortion for any reason. Women commonly referred to abortion as killing a baby . Ambivalence toward contraception, rejection of abortion, and acceptance of pregnancy created a different spectrum of choices for these women, one which excluded pregnancy termination and treated pregnancy as the inevitable consequence of sexual intercourse, no matter the woman s intent.Kendall, C., Afable-Munsuz, A., Speizer, I., Avery, A., Schmidt, N., Santelli, J. (2005). Understanding pregnancy in a population of inner-city women in New Orleans results of qualitative research. Social Science & Medicine, 60, 297-311. Of course, the attitudes towards pregnancy and abortion cannot be generalized to women in other geographic areas. Peace!



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moderatelad

posted May 15, 2007 at 8:01 pm


Just my opinion – I have never seen a church where I have attended or been on staff where the budget would support anything that SOJO is talking about evangelicals being 2 issue people. Yes – we will speek out on these issues because those on the other side of the issue are shouting at this time. But most evangelical congregations deal with issues of hungar, education, healthcare etc. What would the world look like if tonight all para church organizations vanished and the Dept of HHS and the UN were left to deal with these issues – they could not. Most of the things that Wallis and friends talk about the ‘evangelicals’ not doing etc. I can not see where they get their info.Have a great day – Blessings on the Fawell family at this time and in the future. .



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moderatelad

posted May 15, 2007 at 8:20 pm


“…seem to care more about unborn children than about those living…” I do not believe that this is true. I think that respect for life starts with the unborn and that is the foundation. If Roe v Wade had not gone the way it did in the 70’s, I personally believe that there would not be a soapbox for a Dr. Jack in the 90’s. It was the evangelicals that spoke out on both of these issues and were blasted by many that we (we know differently now) thought would be more supportive. Blessings to all – .



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Bren

posted May 15, 2007 at 9:03 pm


I must admit that I have never understood American fundamentalists’ apparently obsessive preoccupation with abortion, while at the same time apparently not seeing that if murder is murder, then the state should not be murdering through capital punishment nor through war. Why do I call this obsessive? Well, here’s an article about poverty–and yet the posters continue to pick nits about what prompts abortion. I often wonder how many of these posters are men, and how many, women. It’s not that men have no right to their opinion, but rather, I suspect that women’s opinion on this issue is more likely to be based on experience. In any case, after reading this article and the posts, I went on to read Ryan Rodrick Beiler’s reminder to us of Julia Ward Howe’s proclamation for Mother’s Day, including her words: Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. The entire proclamation can be found in Beiler’s article. I urge you to read it.



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jesse

posted May 15, 2007 at 9:03 pm


I agree with Moderatelad, The evangelical church I attend has spoken about abortion possibly twice since I’ve been attending it (and I’ve been there 5 years). They’ve spoken numerous times about helping the poor and needy. I’d say this is likely true for most evangelical churches, which, if anything, tend to be more seeker-sensitive these days. Mind you, I’d like to hear them speak on abortion more often, but a lot of churches steer clear of such “hot-button issues”…(and then many of their members go on to have abortions, sadly)



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neuro_nurse

posted May 15, 2007 at 9:04 pm


The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%). Nearly four in 10 women said they had completed their childbearing, and almost one-third were not ready to have a child. Fewer than 1% said their parents’ or partners’ desire for them to have an abortion was the most important reason. Younger women often reported that they were unprepared for the transition to motherhood, while older women regularly cited their responsibility to dependents.Finer, L B., Frohwirth, L. F., Dauphinee, L. A., Singh, S., Moore, A M. (2005). Reasons U.S. women have abortions: quantitative and qualitative perspectives. Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health, 37(3), 110-118. I m not throwing this stuff out there in an attempt to dispute what others are saying. What I have found in the literature has surprised me and challenged some of my liberal assumptions about abortion. The Donnys of the world would conclude from the information that I have posted that the abortion rates among women living in poverty is due to their lack of morality. I am not hearing that from the other (true) conservatives who post here. Kendall et al. (referenced above) is interesting in that it presents a view that I strongly suspect none of the people who post here could ever completely understand. The majority of women interviewed for the study saw premarital teen sex as inevitable, decisions about sex and contraception as being in the boys control, abortion as immoral, pregnancy and motherhood as an indicator of womanhood and maturity, and themselves and their children better off without the fathers. The young women also stated that they themselves did not enjoy sex. In my opinion, Christians should view statements like these as tragic and should suspend their self-righteous judgment for sympathy and empathy. It sounds to me as if these young women see few or no other options for their own future, that these are not moral issues for them so much as survival issues. Many of the women interviewed for the Kendall study stated that motherhood gave them the motivation to improve their situation, to complete school, seek training, and find well-paying jobs. Peace!



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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 9:35 pm


” Why do I call this obsessive? Well, here’s an article about poverty–and yet the posters continue to pick nits about what prompts abortion.” Nits? I think the question of what prompts abortion is pretty important. Insofar as some fundamentalists are “obsessed” with the issue of abortion, it is not as though their advocacy goes unopposed. If there wasn’t such a fervent movement to keep abortion legal through the courts, we could all move past the abortion issue.That said, the post is about moving past abortion, and I think it is fair to have a discussion about how important the issue should be, and how it interrelates with other issues.”I often wonder how many of these posters are men, and how many, women. It’s not that men have no right to their opinion, but rather, I suspect that women’s opinion on this issue is more likely to be based on experience.” Well, I speak for my wife on this issue, who is also pro-life. We do not have two sets of laws, one for each gender, and so the question of whether men should or should not voice their opinion is moot.



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moderatelad

posted May 15, 2007 at 9:41 pm


neuro_nurse | 05.15.07 – 3:09 pm | #Interesting stats One that I have found out here in MN with Christian Org. that work with women that are thinking about having an abortion or those that are post abortive. 45% of the funds that these organizations collect are spent on post abortive women that are fighting depression. They were told by the people that preped them for this ‘procedure’ that it was victimless and just the removal of tissue. Planned Parenthood from what I can see spends no money on post abortive counseling – they leave that to other roganizations. Abortion seems to have a high percentage of one dead and one wounded. By the way – Capital Punishment and Abortion are ‘apples to oranges’ talk. The one on death row did kill someone and has been tried in a court and found guilty. I would be willing to drop the death penality if we would put these people in prison and they would have no contact with outside family and friends as there is a person in the ground that will never have contact with their family and friends.blessings on all – .



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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 9:42 pm


“In my opinion, Christians should view statements like these as tragic and should suspend their self-righteous judgment for sympathy and empathy.” Agreed. One of the consequences of legal abortion in this country is that we can further disassociate sex from the reproductive process. Having sex is no longer associated with motherhood, which, in turn, is associated with maturity. Men are no longer accountable for their own decision-making regarding sex. They can simply ride the wave of inevitability in expecting their girlfriends to indulge in sexual acts which women do not enjoy. Therefore, instead of empowering women, legal abortion has had the effect of facilitating acquiescence to the sexual demands of men. Such is the nature of this godawful beast.



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God's Politics Moderator

posted May 15, 2007 at 9:59 pm


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) This message thread has been visited by a God’s Politics Blog moderator for the purpose of removing inappropriate posts. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct: http://www.beliefnet.com/about/rules.asp which includes: Courtesy and Respect: You agree that you will be courteous to every Beliefnet member, even those whose beliefs you think are false or objectionable. When debating, express your opinion about a person’s ideas, not about them personally. You agree not to make negative personal remarks about other Beliefnet members. You agree not to engage in derogatory name-calling, including calling anyone evil, a liar, Satanic, demonic, antichrist, a Nazi, or other inflammatory comparisons. Disruptive behavior: You agree not to disrupt or interfere with discussions, forums, or other community functions. Disruptive behavior may include creating a disproportionate number of posts or discussions to disrupt conversation; creating off-topic posts; making statements that are deliberately inflammatory; expanding a disagreement from one discussion to another; or any behavior that interferes with conversations or inhibits the ability of others to use and enjoy this website for its intended purposes. Vulgarity: You agree not to display words, information, or images that are vulgar, obscene, graphically violent, graphically sexual, harm minors in any way, exploit images of children, or are otherwise objectionable. Copying Content: Beliefnet discussions are intended for interactive conversation; members are encouraged to express their own ideas in their own words, not to parrot the words of others. You agree not to create posts that consist substantially of material copied from another source. Help us keep the conversation civil and respectful by reporting inappropriate posts to: community@staff.beliefnet.com



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Another nonymous

posted May 15, 2007 at 10:00 pm


“I often wonder how many of these posters are men, and how many, women.” If anyone is interested, I’m a nonymus, not a nonyma. That’s why I try hard not to assume I have any idea what this issue looks like from a woman’s point of view. What I do know is that pro-choice women see the claims made by abortion opponents to be acting in their best interest as incredibly condescending.



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l'etranger

posted May 15, 2007 at 10:02 pm


Actually I think this is one of the best discussions I’ve seen on these boards largely because there’s a recognition that it’s not “either/or” but “both/and”, particularly as the issues interrelate. I was interested by Jesse and Moderatelad’s comments that their conservative churches are talking more about poverty than abortion – suggests that the pews may be moving past the talking heads which can only be a good thing. Anyway to get back to poverty and Rick Warren… although I like many others found PDL somewhat lacking I found this post enormously encouraging. One thought to add here though is are we talking about charity or justice. I’ve often been struck by some the conflation of the two by some posters here. My own view is that the Bible demands a charitable heart, but a just society. I think that they are fundamentally different.



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God's Politics Moderator

posted May 15, 2007 at 10:09 pm


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) This message thread has been visited by a God’s Politics Blog moderator for the purpose of removing inappropriate posts. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct: http://www.beliefnet.com/about/rules.asp which includes: Help us keep the conversation civil and respectful by reporting inappropriate posts to: community@staff.beliefnet.com 5/15



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neuro_nurse

posted May 15, 2007 at 11:06 pm


45% of the funds that these organizations collect are spent on post abortive women that are fighting depression. moderatelad I have no doubt that is a serious problem. I found two studies, one conducted in New Zealand and the other published in a Scandinavian medical journal that concluded women who have had an abortion do have problems with anxiety and depression: Broen, A. N., Moun, T., Bodtker, A. S., Ekberg, O. (2005). The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, five year follow-up study. BMC Medicine, 3(18). Fergusson, D. M., Horwod, L. J., Ridder, E. M. (2006). Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 47(1), 16-24. I also found one conducted in the U.S. that concluded that women don t have significant mental health issues after abortion: Kero, A., Hogberg, U., Lalos, A. (2004). Wellbeing and mental growth-long-term effects of legal abortion. Social Science & Medicine, 58(12), 2559-2269.I was interested by Jesse and Moderatelad’s comments that their conservative churches are talking more about poverty than abortion l’etranger Now that you mention it, my wife and I go to a conservative Baptist church and I can t recall hearing abortion mentioned there, but I have certainly heard it in the Catholic churches I go to.One of the consequences of legal abortion in this country is that we can further disassociate sex from the reproductive process. kevin s. The dissociation of sex from procreation is the Catholic Church s basis for its prohibition on contraception. Many American Catholics do not agreeProject Rachel is a Catholic organization that helps women emotional and spiritual problems after abortion. http://www.hopeafterabortion.com/index.cfm Interesting, the God’s Politics Moderator has struck twice within ten minutes. Someone out there has something to say, but hasn t found the right way to say it. Peace!



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 15, 2007 at 11:15 pm


I think that respect for life starts with the unborn and that is the foundation. If Roe v Wade had not gone the way it did in the 70’s, I personally believe that there would not be a soapbox for a Dr. Jack in the 90’s. It was the evangelicals that spoke out on both of these issues and were blasted by many that we (we know differently now) thought would be more supportive. Sorry, but this represents a bit of revisionist history. It was the Catholics who first spoke out against abortion in response to Roe v. Wade; evangelicals then were pretty silent. Abortion became an issue with the “religious right” only when it tried tried to find a reason to mobilize later that decade (but, in truth, that really had to do with segregated schools and not so much “moral” issues). Besides, abortion is pretty much illegal in the rest of this hemisphere, in large part because of Catholic influence — yet no one would dare call the bloodshed, poverty and corruption there “pro-life.”



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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 11:58 pm


“What I do know is that pro-choice women see the claims made by abortion opponents to be acting in their best interest as incredibly condescending.” I think, frankly, that they will find a reason to dislike any argument that pro-life force put forth. The pro-life position is inherently offensive to them, which is why I don’t get so hung up on the question of how to make it less offensive. I will still stand up for what is right.Some of our pastors occassionally mention abortion, but yeah, it infrequently comes up. We never attend pro-life rallies or the like. I think there is a misconception about religious conservatives that all we do is stew about abortion and gays. That is a convenient stereotype for those who would rather fight strawmen that deal with complicated issues and arguments.



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Bren

posted May 16, 2007 at 12:16 am


Kevin, does your wife not have a voice? Even if she shares your opinion surely she can express it herself. based on her own experience of life? Meanwhile, folks, this just in (literally today):The US health care system ranks last among other major rich countries for quality, access and efficiency, according to two studies released Tuesday by a health care think tank. It’s an American health care think tank, BTW.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 16, 2007 at 12:23 am


“The US health care system ranks last among other major rich countries for quality” Bren That wouldn’t surprise me. What’s your source?



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Bren

posted May 16, 2007 at 12:31 am


I went back to find the source. There are two Commonwealth Fund studies . One is called Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care ; the study focused on interviews with physicians and patients in Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United States who were asked to speak about their experiences and views on their health systems. The US ranked last in most areas, including access to health care, patient safety, timeliness of care, efficiency and equity. Americans were also last in terms of whether they had a regular physician. The second is called “Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data”.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 16, 2007 at 12:53 am

Kristi

posted May 16, 2007 at 1:07 am


I have a 22 year old daughter, and I am 40. Go ahead—do the math. I have her precisely because I decided not to have an abortion BUT that does not mean that I did not consider it. But I had choices—my parents were supportive and helped me through my pregnancy and my daughters early childhood, until I found a wonderful man, whom I then had three sons with and completed my family. Had my life been different I REFUSE to state that I am just too righteous to have gotten an abortion if I had felt that I had no other choice, as many teenage girls in low income situations DO NOT. I have known women traumatized by their decision to abort a pregnancy, and I have known those who stand by the conviction of their choice…BUT NONE DID IT LIGHTLY. It is simply an untenable position to make moralistic statements about a womans decision to maintain a pregnancy. I KNOW and BELIEVE that a fetus is a life—don’t get me wrong here—but the reality of the matter is that having a child is a profoundly serious LIFELONG responsibility, and many women are smart enough to realize that they have no business having a child (at a particular time). They do not want their child to be born into a deplorable situation, or to a young, or addicted mother or any number of other reasons. Whether or not any one of us feels that these women are making the right decision, we have a Christian responsibility to open our arms to them and show them compassion, whether it be pre or post abortive experience.



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Hali

posted May 16, 2007 at 2:27 am


“Let me ask this. If a bill were proposed that would provide $100 billion for adoption reform, $250 billion for aid to single mothers, and $25 billion to ensure that deadbeat dads paid their fari share, but also outlawed abortion, would you support it? Yes or no? Anyone can feel free to answer this question. If I get an honest answer, I’ll eat jellyfish. ” Yes, in a New York minute! But I doubt that eating jellyfish is a good idea. How about sushi?



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HASH(0x117d632c)

posted May 16, 2007 at 2:29 am


This just in – God has told me that the beliefnet referee’s 4:04 pm post today was in response to Kevin’s 3:47 pm post in which he used the offensive words “empowering women.” tut tut



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Canucklehead

posted May 16, 2007 at 2:30 am


doh – that was moi!



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kevin s.

posted May 16, 2007 at 3:16 am


“Kevin, does your wife not have a voice? Even if she shares your opinion surely she can express it herself. based on her own experience of life?” Yes, she has a voice. She’s not into blogs though (she doesn’t even read mine). “Whether or not any one of us feels that these women are making the right decision, we have a Christian responsibility to open our arms to them and show them compassion, whether it be pre or post abortive experience.” Correct. My position is not based on the notion that I am more or less righteous than the next person.



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kevin s.

posted May 16, 2007 at 3:21 am


“Yes, in a New York minute! But I doubt that eating jellyfish is a good idea. How about sushi?” I am appalled by the culinary ignorance on this blog. Jellyfish with hoisin (or fish) sauce and chopped peanuts is pure delight. I am actually surprised that people have voiced their support of my idea. Perhaps it ought to provide a starting point for where Christians ought to advocate in the future. “This just in – God has told me that the beliefnet referee’s 4:04 pm post today was in response to Kevin’s 3:47 pm post in which he used the offensive words “empowering women.”” The ghost of Jerry Falwell now moderates this blog.



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Rick Nowlin

posted May 16, 2007 at 3:51 am


The ghost of Jerry Falwell now moderates this blog. Which is scary, considering that he insulted Jim at least once. I wonder if he would be so charitable had Jim died first?



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Kristi

posted May 16, 2007 at 4:09 am


Come on guys—let’s not knock ol’ jf. He’s probably getting a pretty good tongue lashing right about now! But that doesn’t mean he isn’t up there!



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canucklehead

posted May 16, 2007 at 6:06 am


when the rolls are served up yonder, I’ll be there



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moderatelad

posted May 16, 2007 at 2:53 pm


Kristi | 05.15.07 – 7:12 pm | #Well written. I have several friends that were in the situation as you and when though with the pregnancy and either raised the child themselves or adpoted it out to another couple. In talking with them – everyone of them for a moment or a day considered abortion. For any number of reasons the decided against it and have never regreted their decision. One of them had their child grad. college this year and commented to me ‘to think that I might have missed this…’ This is why I personally will not go and protest in front of a clinic but will give to para-church organizations that will work with women in this area regardless if they complete the pregnancy or if they come to them post adortive. Blessings – .



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Unsympathetic reader

posted May 17, 2007 at 5:35 am


jesse: “The important question is what policies IN THE US have led to significant reductions in abortion rates. Outside of different pro-life laws, e.g. ending Medicaid funding of abortion, informed consent, etc., I’m not aware of any. Better sex-ed programs. They work better than abstinence-only instruction and so I’d have to say that the past few years have been a step backwards. Family planning programs could be better supported (Yes, Planned Parenthood programs do reduce the need for abortions). Better access to medical clinics. Better health care. And better education in general. neuro_nurse posts also suggested other area that would support reductions in the number.



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Payshun

posted May 17, 2007 at 5:48 pm


Why does it have to be deep? I’ve heard this criticism so many times. If Christians would just do the simple things the Bible commands, the church would flourish. Actually the church would get stagnant and die. If the Church only fed on milk it would only still be a babe. We need meat, fish, salad, fruits to grow and that book only offered milk. I already practice and live out most if not all of what the gospel preaches. So I want more that’s going to call me to deeper and more lasting sacrifice. I just need more. Judging from the state of the church I would argue it needs more too. p



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Payshun

posted May 17, 2007 at 5:50 pm


I agree w/ more comprehensive sex-ed education. We need to learn to stop speaking about sex w/ shame and embarrasment. p



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neuro_nurse

posted May 17, 2007 at 7:44 pm


The important question is what policies IN THE US have led to significant reductions in abortion rates. jesseThe overall declines in the reported abortion ratio and rate over time might reflect multiple factors, including a decrease in the number of unintended pregnancies; a shift in the age distribution of women toward the older and less fertile ages; reduced or limited access to abortion services, including the passage of abortion laws that affect adolescents (e.g., parental consent or notification laws and mandatory waiting periods); and changes in contraceptive practices, including increased use of contraceptives (e.g., condoms and, among young women, increased use of long-acting hormonal contraceptive methods that were introduced in the early 1990s). http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5511a1.htm?s_cid=ss5511a1_e This is a speculative statement. I don t know how one could demonstrate a causal relationship between any factor and the decreasing rates of abortion in the U.S. One could easily point to the graph of reported abortions from 1973 to 2003 and say that because the abortion rate increased throughout the Reagan-Bush I administrations and began to decrease during the Clinton administration, the decreasing abortion rate was due to something Clinton did, but that claim would be na ve at best. (yes, I did suggest that at some time in the past. I recant that assertion) The CDC report references 13 articles to support the statement in the paragraph I pasted above. A fact that we should not ignore is that the number of reported abortions in the U.S. has decreased from its peak of 1,429,247 in 1990 to 848,163 in 2003. The CDC suggests this is due to a number of factors, some of which appeal to those with a conservative perspective and some to those of the liberal persuasion. Neither side should have the audacity to declare victory with little or no evidence to support the effectiveness of any one or any group of factors.Outside of different pro-life laws, e.g. ending Medicaid funding of abortion, informed consent, etc., I’m not aware of any [policies that have led to significant reductions in abortion rates]. jesse In a previous thread I posted abstracts and excerpts from a number of articles from medical journals that demonstrate the effectiveness of comprehensive sex education programs at reducing the number of teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STI). I would not say that it is logical to conclude from those studies that sex ed is responsible for the reduction of abortions in the U.S., and I would be interested to know if you can provide evidence that demonstrates in what ways pro-life laws have contributed to the reduction in the rates of abortion in the U.S. I m not saying they aren t out there, and the best place to start looking is probably the citations in the CDC s abortion surveillance report but if you re going to look there, in all fairness, you should also look at the references that examine other factors (e.g. sex ed and contraception). Peace!



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joe kopnitsky

posted December 17, 2007 at 9:10 pm


Jesus’ commandment is to love one an other. How do we love one an other. by providing for them. We provide for our families. Our children cannot provide for them selves. Now in health care most workers do not have the resources to pay for medical care out right. And if you have watched SICKO the movie we see those we trust to pay for our medical needs are only interested in profits and will deny medical care if they can possibly do so. And critisizing Canada’s health care because one may have to wait is small potatoes becaus in the U.S. many never get because of our system.



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More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting God's Politics. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




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