God's Politics

God's Politics


Duane Shank: Lord, Have Mercy

posted by gp_intern

The daily news from Iraq is mind-numbing, as violence and death continue unabated. And part of that numbing is the danger of seeing the daily body counts as just more numbers. As of yesterday morning, 3,503 Americans have died.
So, I’ve made reading the news each morning into a spiritual discipline. I read the names in the almost daily U.S. casualty lists aloud and say a prayer for these young men and women, their families and friends. Each one of them is a unique child of God, with unique experiences and lives, now gone. Lifting them in prayer has become a way to lament the continuing deaths.
The latest names released in yesterday’s Washington Post and New York Times:

Chadrick O. Domino, 23
Jeremiah C. Costello, 22
Keith V. Nepsa, 21
William J. Crouch, 21
Joshua D. Brown, 26
Shawn E. Dressler, 22
Ryan A. Balmer, 33
Matthew J, Kuglics, 25
James C. Akin, 23
Caleb P. Christopher, 25
Greg P. Gagarin, 38
Tyler J. Kritz, 21
Robert A. Surber, 24

Kyrie Eleison
Lord, have mercy

And although I will never know their names, the death count of Iraqis is rising even faster. In yesterday’s news:

- two car bombs exploded near a revered Shiite shrine in Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding 25
– at least 17 others were killed and 13 wounded in mortar attacks, drive-by shootings and other violence across the country
– police in Baghdad found 34 bodies, all shot in the head and bearing signs of torture
– at least 167 bodies have been found in Baghdad in the first six days of June

Along with the deaths:

- The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reported that more than 4.2 million Iraqis had been forced from their homes by violence in Iraq, including about 2 million who had been displaced inside the country and about 2.2 million who had fled as refugees to neighboring countries.

Kyrie Eleison
Lord, have mercy



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neuro_nurse

posted June 8, 2007 at 7:06 pm


Was it really worth it george?



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 8, 2007 at 10:30 pm


I know the President is a believer , and we should pray for him . I believe we should out of this country yesterday , but I do have a problem with names of the dead being used to make a political point .
Thank you Duane for praying for the families . You are blessing .



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moderatelad

posted June 8, 2007 at 10:40 pm


Was it really worth it george?
No – so lets come home and let the world blow its self to wherever it wants to. As long as our lilly white backsides are comfortably planted in our lazyboys – life will be good. Who gives a rip about the 100’s of thousands that Saddam killed over the past two decades – their just a bunch of rag-heads. They had no hope of establishing a freely elected gov’t and they will not be able to sustain this one. They are so intune to a dictatorship – who are we to show them any difference. Lets just forget about our brothers and sisters that are beaten down by their own gov’t and live the sweet life here in the US. With the money we will be saving not being in Iraq we can fence off Mexico and seal up Canada.
Let’s just pull everything back and let the world destroy itself! Amen.
Later –
.



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Sarasotakid

posted June 9, 2007 at 6:47 am


Thank you for this posting. It is sad to hear about all these young men and women in uniform getting killed. It is also very sad to hear about so many Iraqi casualties. When will we ever learn that those who live by the sword, die by it?
No Neuro-nurse, it was not worth it. Notwithstanding any rationalizations and fear-mongering on the right about the world coming to an end if we don’t go over there and kill a bunch of people.



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jeff

posted June 9, 2007 at 12:57 pm


I have no problem with “the names of the dead being used to make a political point”. It was political maneuvering that got them killed, wasn’t it?
We’re so quick to respond to violence with more violence that we easily forget the example of Christ, whose strength was in his meekness. And whose revolution was in his spirit.
He fought the idea of injustice with his wisdom and implemented it with peaceful praxis.
http://www.demerging.net



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Rick Nowlin

posted June 9, 2007 at 2:27 pm


moderatelad — Some things to remember.
One, about a hundred years ago the British cobbled Iraq together to keep the various tribes fighting each other and themselves in power.
Two, when Reagan was president we tried to recruit Saddam as an ally during its war with Iran.
Three, we went in there under the pretense that he had WMD, which clearly wasn’t the case — his ministers apparently had told him he did to save their own hides.
Four, Osama bin Laden also wanted Saddam taken out because he “blasphemed Islam.”
Consequently, having a “democratically elected Iraq” like ours won’t happen anytime soon.



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Mick Sheldon

posted June 9, 2007 at 4:29 pm


Jeff,
I never supported the war in as far as invading Iraq . Mainly from my own perspective of growing up during the Vietnam era I think . I like many I believe was taken in by the rheroic of weapons and Husseins possible use of chemicals and WMDs.
I was somewhat surprised by all the politicians not speaking to the exit stategy however .
But I never have understood the blame for Bush , besides incompetence , for the murderers and baby killers that encompass the Terrosist Forces . I blame those murderers, not Bush . I blame Bush for incompetence , not for not caring about our security . So perhaps my view is biased here , but not nearly as much as yours in my opinion .You see , I would support leaving now .. Yesterday .
But to your point , my son is going over to Iraq . And unless we come to our senses and get out , it appears he will be in dangerous situations . You and I may disagree with him going there and his reasons for doing so , he volunteered , and he is what many would classify a liberal on this board . He belongs to Green Peace for crying out loud .
In respect to the fallen , I would never use their honor , valor , and views of why men such as him volunteer and then use their names to mock their efforts . I may disagree , and you too with why they are there .
That is wrong to use their names in a political manner , that is morally wrong and offensive to their families regardless of their views . Pro or con . Its perverted .
Just a Dad
Please pray and support the the living also .



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moderatelad

posted June 9, 2007 at 8:44 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | June 9, 2007 2:27 PM
So when he threatened us with the use of WMD’s just weeks prior to the allied forces attacking Iraq and the French and the Russians along with many in congress saying that he had them. Now that it is ‘found’ that he does not have them, (at least not in Iraq just now) George Lied – am I getting it straight?
That we thought he might be someone that we could work with against Iran and then he turned on us – I wish foreign policy could be that exact.
That the British screwed up about a century ago – we should not try to correct it? (maybe if the UN was doing their job the world would be a safer place)
This is why we need to bring everyone home and stay the ^&*( out of other countries affairs and let the world destroy itself if it wishes.
Clinton goes to the Bulkins and he is a hero. (we are still there and it is worse than it ever was to begin with) Melosovich did not attack us – why did we go?
Have a nice day –
.



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canucklehead

posted June 9, 2007 at 11:02 pm


“I know the President is a believer…”
Yeah, don’t we all. The question is: in what?



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Anonymous

posted June 9, 2007 at 11:31 pm


Now that it is ‘found’ that he does not have them, (at least not in Iraq just now) George Lied – am I getting it straight?

He wanted to go into Iraq BAMN — that much was, and is now, clear and he didn’t care how he justified it.

That we thought he might be someone that we could work with against Iran and then he turned on us — I wish foreign policy could be that exact.

Excuse me, but he was the “Butcher of Baghdad” even then.

That the British screwed up about a century ago — we should not try to correct it? (maybe if the UN was doing their job the world would be a safer place)

There was no UN then. Besides, it’s too late to “fix” things.

This is why we need to bring everyone home and stay the ^&*( out of other countries affairs and let the world destroy itself if it wishes.

It we hadn’t been there this all might not have happened in the first place. al-Qaeda is having a field day now that we’re in Iraq.



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Sarasotakid

posted June 10, 2007 at 2:15 pm


Clinton goes to the Bulkins and he is a hero. (we are still there and it is worse than it ever was to begin with) Melosovich did not attack us – why did we go?
Posted by: moderatelad
Yeah, I seem to remember the Republicans screaming that Clinton didn’t have an exit strategy for Bosnia and Kosovo. They quickly forgot that rhetoric when it came to a fellow Republican launching a war. They didn’t give a whiff about an exit strategy and look where it has gotten us.



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neuro_nurse

posted June 11, 2007 at 10:57 am


Does this sound like a remarkably stupid idea to anyone else?
U.S. Arming Sunnis in Iraq to Battle Old Qaeda Allies
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/11/world/middleeast/11iraq.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=world



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moderatelad

posted June 11, 2007 at 11:14 am


Sarasotakid | June 10, 2007 2:15 PM
Yeah, I seem to remember the Republicans screaming that Clinton didn’t have an exit strategy for Bosnia and Kosovo.
No – I think they questioned why because it was only a civil war. He had not crossed borbers to attacked anyone. With all the trouble in the world in Africa etc – Clinton goes to the Balkins? There was no exit strategy for Germany or Japan because you never know how the was will or will not progress. But Clinton had to look Presidential according to the polls so he went to the Balkins. (some believe that he did it to keep Monica off the front page. I can not go there because I can not believe that any person would put others in harms way just to cover a personal indescreation)
Have a great day
Rob



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Anonymous

posted June 11, 2007 at 5:49 pm


“He had not crossed borbers to attacked anyone. With all the trouble in the world in Africa etc ”
So, how does that justify the invasion of Iraq? Saddam Hussain did not cross any borders and attack anyone (unless you mean Kuwait), and other than the current trouble on the Ethiopian/Somali border, I can’t think of any international wars on the African continent either.
Peace!



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Richard Beach

posted June 11, 2007 at 9:16 pm


It’s much easier to post the names of a few brave soldiers than it is to document the thousands of unborn children that your “progressive” compassion selectively ignores.



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neuro_nurse

posted June 11, 2007 at 11:18 pm


“…thousands of unborn children that your “progressive” compassion selectively ignores.”
You pull abortion out of you hat as if it’s the ultimate political trump card. You want to silence any dissent from the conservative party line. You put all “progressives/liberals/Democrats” in the same box and make yourself think that we’re all pro-choice abortion advocates and not individuals who don’t always agree with the majority voices.
Meanwhile, what have Republicans done to reduce the number of abortions performed in the U.S. other than a lot of talk? Not much.
http://www.catholicdemocrats.org/on_abortion.php
Peace!



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kevin s.

posted June 12, 2007 at 1:48 am


“You pull abortion out of you hat as if it’s the ultimate political trump card.”
Duane Shank pulls that names of troops out of a hat as if it’s the ultimate political trump card.
“Meanwhile, what have Republicans done to reduce the number of abortions performed in the U.S. other than a lot of talk? Not much.”
This issue resides in the courts. The nature of the judiciary has implications beyond simply abortion, but Republicans have put a number of able-bodied conservative justices on higher courts in recent years.



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Richard Beach

posted June 12, 2007 at 2:07 am


neuro_nurse,
You can rationalize your decision to support “pro-choice” political candidates (Democrat or Republican) all you want, but don’t try to pretend that you are following Jesus when you do it.
Jesus would NEVER cast a vote for a “pro-choice” politician because He would be going against all that He is and all that He stands for. When a Christian votes for a “pro-choice” candidate, they sin.
It’s black and white. (I know that “progressives” have a problem with absolute truth, but there it is.)
You ask what Republicans have done to reduce the number or abortions. The answer is simple: we elected a President who has appointed two pro-life Supreme Court justices. Just think what kind of positive impact we could have on abortion reduction if we could make it illegal!!! We need your vote.
I repeat: the relatively small number of brave soldiers who have lost their lives in the Iraq War pales in comparison to the wholesale slaughter of unborn innocents that you allow to happen because you support it by supporting candidates that support it. At the current soldier fatality rate, the Iraq War would have to go on for 4000 years!!! to match the slaughter of millions of precious human babies since 1973.



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Dave Baylor

posted June 12, 2007 at 8:39 am


First, I agree that we should be praying for all involved in this terrible conflict in Iraq and a around the world.
Second, I also agree that the names of the dead should not be used as political fodder. It is insensitive and improper.
Third, I also agree that it is incongruous to be against the war an support a pro-choice candidate. To be consistent, we should not be supporting either. Neither of these positions falls within a Christian worldview. While both are inexcusable, there has to be a distinction between the soldiers dying in the “War on Terror” and abortion. The soldiers are doing so of their own free will. We have an all volunteer military and they chose their profession. In the case of abortion, the reason that we cannot name the dead is not because their are so many, but because they were never allowed to have a name.
I agree that we cannot afford to be hyper-focused on one issue. But this group is always focused on freeing the oppressed and protection of the innocent and rightfully so. One of God’s highest priorities in the Scripture is the protection of the innocent from those who would misuse power. There is no one more innocent and the victim of the misuse of power than the unborn baby in the abortion clinic. Power was misused to conceive the child whether through consentual action or rape. Power was misused in taking the life of the aborted child who has no say and no one to speak for them.
Sorry for the long-winded post. In short, if we are going to hold people accountable for their positions and actions. Let’s be consistent and to be consistent, there is not single candidate in either party that is deserving of our support.



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Donny

posted June 12, 2007 at 8:53 am


But please never forget that in reality, this is just Muslims killing non-Muslims.
There is no declared enemy as in real wars, or even a real “war” being fought. Certain Muslims are just killing infidels like they have always been doing since the creation of Islam.
Those names include far more than just Americans.



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Dave Baylor

posted June 12, 2007 at 9:15 am


Donny:
I am confused by your comments. At first you seem to be disqaulifying the deaths of the Muslims and then end by drawing attention to them.
In my comment stating that we need to pray “all” means everyone on both sides – Muslim, Non-Muslim, Combatant or non-Combatant.
Additionally, even if it is just Muslim killing Muslim are we not obligated to be concerned. Further, if we were to take such an attitude, I am not convinced that the violence would be contained among Muslims, especially with the rise of Islamic communities around the world. There will always be ‘infidels’ somewhere, even if they are only focused on Muslims Muslims. By the way both you and I are considered ‘infidels’ as well.



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Sarasotakid

posted June 12, 2007 at 9:37 am


Jesus would NEVER cast a vote for a “pro-choice” politician because He would be going against all that He is and all that He stands for. When a Christian votes for a “pro-choice” candidate, they sin.
So I get it. There is not so much as one word uttered by Jesus in the NT for or against abortion. But Jesus would “NEVER” cast a vote for a pro-choice politician. However Jesus speaks out against war and it is okay to vote for pro-war politicians?
One thing we should all be able to agree on, though is that Jesus would “NEVER” have cast a vote! He was a non Roman citizen living under Roman occupation. Those folk didn’t cast too many votes in those days. I know this for a fact because I saw “The Life of Brian.”



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Dave Baylor

posted June 12, 2007 at 9:49 am


Sarasotakid:
Although I am somewhat dubious about “The Life of Brian” as source for New Testament exegesis [TIC ;)] I see your point.
But seriously, you are exactly right about Jesus and the prophets in general. They were engaged in fighting the system without being co-opted into it. Despite our American focus on democracy, I wonder if this is not the better model for action.



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kevin s.

posted June 12, 2007 at 10:18 am


“But seriously, you are exactly right about Jesus and the prophets in general. They were engaged in fighting the system without being co-opted into it. Despite our American focus on democracy, I wonder if this is not the better model for action.”
Many of my political beliefs stem from my desire to fight the system, but I see your point. Jesus wasn’t out to change enforce God’s politics. He was out to redeem souls.
However, if you hold to this philosophy, you must be consistent. Oftentimes, when the discussion turns to abortion, people will talk about how disengaged from the process Christ was. When it comes to, say, Social Security, the discussion goes back to what the Bible would have us advocate.
For some, it goes the other way around. I am disinclined to use scripture to support my political beliefs, which is not to say that my beliefs run afoul of scripture.



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Anonymous

posted June 12, 2007 at 10:54 am


Kevin S wrote
“Duane Shank pulls that names of troops out of a hat as if it’s the ultimate political trump card.”
Actually, I tried very hard not to make my post “political.” I said not a word about whether the war was right or wrong, etc. The point was that regardless of one’s view on the war, it is appropriate to lament the deaths and to pray for the families.
Duane



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Sarasotakid

posted June 12, 2007 at 12:10 pm


However, if you hold to this philosophy, you must be consistent. Oftentimes, when the discussion turns to abortion, people will talk about how disengaged from the process Christ was. When it comes to, say, Social Security, the discussion goes back to what the Bible would have us advocate. Kevin S.
I would agree with you and it cuts both ways- against the political right and left. So the question then becomes, what do we use as our source for deriving our bedrock principles for political policy?



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neuro_nurse

posted June 12, 2007 at 4:49 pm


“The polarizing tendencies of election-year politics can lead to circumstances in which Catholic teaching and sacramental practice can be misused for political ends.”
http://www.usccb.org/bishops/catholicsinpoliticallife.shtml
“Duane Shank pulls that names of troops out of a hat as if it’s the ultimate political trump card.” kevin s.
This thread is about soldiers killed in the war. It appears to me that Richard Beach’s introduction of abortion to the conversation was nothing more than a diversion from that topic.
I am not one of those liberals who dismiss all things conservative because I believe you are the source of all evil, and I reject the implication that liberals are evil. My beliefs and values about abortion are probably closer to yours than Donny or Richard Beach would like to believe. The difference between us is how we believe the problem of abortion should be addressed.
I would not hold my breath waiting for SCOTUS to overturn Rove vs. Wade, and even IF it was overturned, it would not mean that abortion is outlawed in the U.S.
(Incidentally Richard, there are no ‘pro-choice’ or ‘pro-life’ Supreme Court Justices. No nominee who expects to pass Senate confirmation would declare such a bias. Presidents and politicians can make assumptions about how a judge will rule, but as we have seen, those expectations are not always fulfilled.)
You do not have to agree with me that attempting to outlaw abortion in the U.S. is neither an attainable goal nor an effective use of energy. What is undeniable is that while the abortion laws in the U.S. have remained essentially unchanged, the number of abortions performed in the U.S. has been declining from its peak of 1,429,247 in 1990 to 848,163 in 2003. (CDC)
I am not naïve enough to suggest the reason for the decline, and the CDC gives nothing more than a handful of speculative reasons for the decline. Perhaps we can agree, that something, or some set of factors, has influenced the abortion rate – something that, more than likely, occurred outside of the political arena.
Richard,
I do not ‘rationalize’ my reasons for voting for any candidate. If your decision to vote for a certain candidate is based on a single criterion, then you blind yourself to everything else.
I see many other contradictions to Christian values in those candidates who pay lip-service to opposition to abortion. I’m not going to vote for someone just because he says he is “pro-life.” As far as I am concerned, I would rather hear a candidate’s ideas for reducing the number of abortions performed.
You may disagree with me, and you may criticize me, that is your prerogative. You may not tell me who I should vote for, especially when you indicated that your political decisions are limited in focus.
You also may not question my relationship with God based on your prejudiced assumptions about my political affiliation – or any other reason, for that matter.
Can a person be a Christian and a Democrat? In comparison to Catholics, Evangelicals are late-comers to the anti-abortion agenda. (I went to Catholic school, so I was ‘pro-life’ many years before the Republican Party realized that it was politically expedient) There are over 60 million Catholics in the U.S., 40% of us are Democrats.
Shall we put it to a vote?
Peace!



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neuro_nurse

posted June 12, 2007 at 5:07 pm


“Jesus would NEVER cast a vote for a “pro-choice” politician”
I can’t see Christ giving any politician His vote.
Besides, Jesus couldn’t vote for any candidate because, contrary to popular belief, He’s not a U.S. citizen.
Peace!



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Richard Beach

posted June 12, 2007 at 8:23 pm


You said that I “indicated that [my] political decisions are limited in focus.” I don’t recall doing that.
Just stating that I will not vote for a “pro-choice” candidate does not limit the scope of my decisions. There are other types of political evils that I will not support by my vote – regardless of political affiliation – Democrat or Republican:
1. socialism (stealing from the rich and giving to the “poor”.)
2. homosexual rights (supporting a lifestyle that God condemns)
By the way, I’m certain that by your own definition, “progressives” also make decisions that are limited in focus. You are free to judge me as being a simpleton (like President Bush…ha) if it makes you feel better.
By the way, I originally decided to post because I assumed this was a Christian forum and perhaps the person who was lamenting the handful of soldiers killed in the last week had forgotten about the ongoing holocaust of abortion where literally millions have been snuffed out during the same timeframe that 3500 soldiers have been killed. As the ole cliche goes, “it’s like straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.”
As for the war, supporters like myself hope and pray for a swift end. We pray that God will honor our just cause and give us victory over the Islamo-fascists. If we do not succeed on their soil, then your fatality lists are sure to swell as they bring the fight back to our shores. Just think how many lives would have been spared if the world had stood up to the Nazis when they first manifested their evil plans.



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neuro_nurse

posted June 12, 2007 at 9:41 pm


Richard Beach,
I am not the stereotype you’ve made me out to be.
Despite our differences, I have a lot of respect for kevin s., yet there are many times I’ve wondered why he allows himself to be suckered into some of the pedantic arguments I’ve witnessed.
I’m not going to do the same thing with you. You are free to have the last word.
Peace!



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Richard Beach

posted June 12, 2007 at 11:22 pm


Peace.



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kevin s.

posted June 13, 2007 at 1:13 am


“This thread is about soldiers killed in the war. It appears to me that Richard Beach’s introduction of abortion to the conversation was nothing more than a diversion from that topic.”
This thread is about using soldiers killed in war to advance a political viewpoint, which is what you criticized Richard for doing.
“I am not one of those liberals who dismiss all things conservative because I believe you are the source of all evil, and I reject the implication that liberals are evil.”
And I agree vice versa. However, there is a fair point to be made that a post like this inherently presumes that the Iraq war is wrong, It is also fair point to point out that, if one presumes legal abortion to be wrong, the atrocity committed outweighs the Iraq war on order of magnitude.
“I would not hold my breath waiting for SCOTUS to overturn Rove vs. Wade, and even IF it was overturned, it would not mean that abortion is outlawed in the U.S.”
I can’t hold my breath for more then 45 seconds at a time, but I think the path to overturning the issue in the courts is not necessarily that far off, nor am I convinced that overturning Roe v. Wade will be as ineffectual as you seem to imply. Either way, I am unmoved by the argument that, because a certain political party will thwart efforts to reverse an injustice, I should therefore set aside my qualms with that injustice, and support that very party.
“Incidentally Richard, there are no ‘pro-choice’ or ‘pro-life’ Supreme Court Justices. No nominee who expects to pass Senate confirmation would declare such a bias.”
This is correct. I would add that the issue of judicial conservatism has far ranging implications that extend far beyond abortion.
“I am not naïve enough to suggest the reason for the decline, and the CDC gives nothing more than a handful of speculative reasons for the decline. Perhaps we can agree, that something, or some set of factors, has influenced the abortion rate – something that, more than likely, occurred outside of the political arena.”
The CDC figures exclude a handful of states, including CA. The biggest contributing factor to the reduction in abortions has been advancements in pre-natal screening and monitoring.
Which brings us back to the main point. When we humanize an issue, it can be very effective. Duane is using this tact, but it remains relevant that abortion opponents hold a dramatic advantage if we choose to evoke the the same tact.



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