Wednesday, May 07, 2014
A powerful dialogue about abortion
Author’s Note: The following column is based on a real life conversation, which occurred last May. It originally appeared on www.ClashDaily.com in July
Teenager: Dr. Adams, may I have a few minutes to speak with you?
Me: Sure. What is your name? (Gives name).
Teen: I enjoyed listening to your talk on abortion just a few minutes ago. Your points were solid. But I have just one problem. It’s with the rape exception. Can you honestly tell me that you could look a rape victim in the eye and tell her that she could not have an abortion and that she must take the rapist’s baby to term?
Me: (pulls out phone). Yes. Give me the number of any pregnant rape victim you know and I will call her right now and talk to her. I can’t look her in the eye but I will talk to her.
Teen: (Laughing nervously). I don’t know any pregnant rape victims.
Me: Well, before I put my phone up, can I ask a favor of you?
Me: I have a friend who was conceived in rape. Do you mind if I call her and give you the phone so you could explain why it would be permissible for her be killed just because she was conceived in rape? Her mother is still alive, by the way. I’m sure that her continued existence reminds her mother of the rape. My friend’s name is Laura.
Teen: No, I won’t do that. She shouldn’t be killed, now. That isn’t my position.
Me: Oh, I see. You think that there is some difference between the adult she is now and the embryo she once was that would have justified killing her at that earlier stage of development.
Teen: I see what you are doing. This is the SLED thing, isn’t it?
Me: Yes it is. Size, level of development, environment (whether she is inside or outside of the womb), and degree of dependency. These are the four differences people generally rely upon when they say you can kill the unborn but not the born. Which one is it?
Teen: Well, none of them, I guess. I see your point.
Me: Good. Now, let’s talk about who benefits when the child conceived in rape is aborted.
Me: Would I, or any of the close friends of Laura, have benefited from her death at the hands of the abortion doctor? I mean, would it not have been a tragedy had her friends never known her?
Teen: Well, yes, I suppose it would have been a tragedy.
Me: Well, how about Laura? Would she have benefited from the abortion?
Teen: No, of course not.
Me: Ok, then who benefits?
Teen: Well, the rape victim benefits. Obviously.
Me: But is it really obvious?
Teen: I think it is.
Me: You know if a woman becomes pregnant through consensual sex and has a crisis pregnancy it is a toss-up as to whether she will have the abortion. But if she’s raped and becomes pregnant then the chances she’ll abort are much lower.
Teen: How much lower?
Me: The odds are about three to one that she won’t abort. It may seem counterintuitive but it really isn’t difficult to understand upon further consideration. She’s just been the victim of a violent crime. She identifies with the evil of violence and is reluctant to inflict it on another human being. So she usually decides to suffer evil rather than inflict it.
Teen: I’ll have to think about that one.
Me: Good. It will give me time to ask you another question.
Me: You believe that the woman impregnated by a rapist will suffer great stress bringing the baby to term. You obviously believe that the abortion will reduce that stress. But your argument turns on the assertion that the stress saved by the abortion will actually outweigh any guilt she might experience over the memory of the abortion for the duration of her life. Is that a fair characterization of your reasoning?
Teen: Yes, that’s fair enough.
Me: Well, how did you arrive at that conclusion? Can you point me to some evidence?
Teen: No, I was just speculating.
Me: Well, you haven’t convinced me that the pregnant woman really benefits. The abortion doesn’t solve the problem. She suffers terribly regardless. But when those conceived in rape are aborted there are multiple tragedies. One human is deprived of life, one adoptive couple loses a child, and others are deprived of ever knowing the innocent child who would have had a long life and formed many friendships. I think that the weight of the evidence is against the abortion. I just cannot see who really benefits from the abortion.
Teen: Well maybe I just have some maturing to do as I think about this issue.
Me: I’m not sure it’s really a thinking problem.
Teen: What do you mean?
Me: You have a steady girlfriend, don’t you?
Teen: Yes, I do.
Me: Are you sleeping with her?
Teen: What? I’m not answering that question.
Me: Well, you don’t have to answer it. You just did. You’re sleeping with her.
Teen: Ok … what does that have to do with the discussion?
Me: Well, everything.
Teen: Please explain.
Me: Every time I am in a discussion of abortion that turns to the so called rape exception, there are two common denominators. First, it is always a guy. Second, he’s always sexually active. If he is sleeping with a lot of women he really supports unrestricted abortion. So he just feigns concern for the rape victim in order to preserve unrestricted abortion so he can have unrestricted sex. Then there are guys like you who are just sleeping with a girlfriend and want to preserve a tiny crack in the wall — a safety valve just in case you get into trouble. The idea of an absolute ban on abortion makes you nervous because you are taking risks you know you ought not to be taking.
Teen: I guess everything you are saying makes sense. Maybe I just need to grow up.
Me: No, not really. You pulled me aside and started this conversation because your conscience was bothering you. You weren’t really worried about the rape issue. You were worried about your own circumstances. That’s why it took courage to initiate the conversation. You knew I wasn’t going say things you wanted to hear. You were mature at the beginning of this conversation and you are even more mature now.
Me: Now it is time to stop treating you girlfriend like she’s already your wife. It will clear your mind and help you make better decisions on a whole range of moral issues. Remember that it is always better to decide what you believe and let your beliefs guide your behavior. When it’s the other way around, you become lost and you eventually lose your moral compass altogether. You eventually become a law unto yourself.
Teen: Well, how do I explain this to my girlfriend?
Me: Well, that should be easy. Tell her you are not yet ready to be a parent. Tell her that if she became pregnant it would be your child, too. Make sure you look her in the eye and firmly tell her that you could never allow her to abort your child. In other words, start living your life according to rules instead of clinging to exceptions.
The racism of the Israel-bashers
The Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement against Israel is often seen as progressive — so it’s astounding to see its supporters turn to racism. The latest target: Chloé Simone Valdary, an African-American undergraduate at the University of New Orleans and founder of the Allies of Israel Association.
Valdary recently wrote an article criticizing the Jewish Museum’s decision to invite Judith Butler, a University of California, Berkeley professor and outspoken BDS supporter to speak — an invitation Butler at first accepted, then declined.
BDS supporters’ response to Valdary was vile. Activist Zaid Jilani tweeted, “Non-jew [Chloé Valdary] smears famous Jewish academic as ally of Hitler,” then mocked her outspoken stand against anti-Semitism. (Jilani, by the way, was ousted from a liberal think tank last year for use of what his boss called “terrible anti-Semitic language.”)
Then there was Max Blumenthal, a former writer for the pro-Hezbollah Al Akhbar newspaper. (The Nation found Blumenthal’s recent book notable for its “equation of Israel with Nazis.”) He tweeted that Valdary is “beyond sickening” and “irrationally hateful” — and a “non-Jew” who represents “the future of Zionism.”
And Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam, a blog focused on “exposing the excesses of the Israeli national-security state,” posted on his Facebook page, with a link to her piece: “They finally did it: found a Negro Zionist: Uncle Tom is dancin’ for joy!”
The attacks from his allies are offensive enough, but Silverstein’s racial slurs are beyond the pale. And his river of hate continued to flow, as he called this young African-American woman a “house slave” and said the “Israel Lobby is her Master.”
His racist intent with such loaded language could hardly be more clear. For many in the African-American community, the phrase “Uncle Tom” is as bad as, if not worse than, the N-word. The pejorative has historically been used against African-Americans seen as subservient to oppressive whites. Few words could be more hurtful, especially from a Caucasian man publicly castigating a young African-American woman.
I’ve seen this too many times before: a supposed “progressive” stepping on the backs of African-Americans, then walking away as if the pain he’s inflicted is different from that caused by any other racist.
Why should such hate speech go unchallenged, just because it’s cloaked as criticism of Israel? As a civil-rights activist and leader in the African-American community, I’m exceptionally disturbed to discover that the response to this attack on Valdary has been subdued, almost nonexistent.
Just as Jews stood with African-Americans during the fight for civil rights in the 1960s, so too must we as leaders of the Black community stand together today with Chloé Simone Valdary, on the one hand, and the Jewish community, on the other hand. Don’t dismiss this incident as a one-off. It represents a deeply troubling trend in an anti-Israel movement that goes way beyond honest criticism of Israeli policy to dehumanize and vilify Israel, Israelis and anyone who supports the Jewish state.
They do so not only through calls to boycott a liberal democracy, but also by dropping any pretense of decency, fairness or humanity. To these haters, all the basic rules of liberal society — rejection of hate speech, commitment to academic freedom, rooting out racism, the absolute commitment to human dignity — go out the window when the subject is Israel.
For years some have warned that opponents of Israel are indulging in a new form of anti-Semitism. The vilification of Israel may not always be carried out by non-Jews or directed at Jews, but the dynamic is remarkably similar to the old version. The caricatures, the obviously twisted double standards and the hatred that drives it are all the same.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper put it eloquently before the Knesset in January. Calling the anti-Israel hatred “sickening,” he added that “This is the face of the new anti-Semitism. It targets the Jewish people by targeting Israel and attempts to make the old bigotry acceptable for a new generation.”
We who have visited Israel know the truth first hand. The country isn’t perfect (whose is?), but it strives for peaceful coexistence with its neighbors. Israel is the Middle East’s lone functioning democracy and by leaps and bounds the region’s leader in respecting human and civil rights. Israel welcomes Arabs as citizens contributing to its democracy and legislative process, its military institutions,and universities, sitting in its parliament and in high judicial posts.
It’s also the only nation in history to bring tens of thousands of Africans (Ethiopian Jews) out of Africa to be citizens, not slaves.
Valdary’s writings eloquently make the substantive argument for Israel. The comments by Silverstein and his allies show that there is still hate, racism and ignorance in this country that must be confronted. So while Chloé Simone Valdary continues to fight for Israel, let all good people denounce Silverstein’s racism and stand with her.
This is doubly true for liberal Americans, who have so long stood for rooting out hatred, discrimination and bigotry. They should make clear that they believe in these things just as strongly when it comes to the subject of Israel.
Rev. Graham: Gays ‘Absolutely’ Can Go to Heaven But They Must ‘Repent'
Homosexuals can be forgiven and can go to Heaven if they repent and turn from their sins, and this is “the same for any of us,” said Rev. Franklin Graham on the Easter Sunday edition of ABC’s This Week, adding as an example that “a person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God.”
Graham, son of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham, also defended his comments about Russia protecting its children from gay propaganda and noted that with President Barack Obama, “We used to have a president in this country that did what was right for this country, but we don’t seem to have that right now.”
On the April 20 program, hosted by ABC’s Martha Raddatz, footage was shown of Franklin Graham telling the Charlotte Observer recently that gays can “recruit” children to their cause and that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support for a law banning gay propaganda was prudent. “I think I agreed with Putin, I think protecting his nation’s children I think was probably a pretty smart thing to do,” said Graham.
Raddatz then asked, “I suspect you still support that, what you said. You still support Putin?”
Graham, said, “No, I think Putin is going to do what’s right for Russia, not what’s right for America, but for Russia.”
“We used to have a president in this country that did what was right for this country but we don’t seem to have that right now,” said Graham, who heads the international Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse. “Putin is going to make these decisions that he thinks is best for the Russian people and he thinks taking advantage of children, exploiting children, is wrong for any group, and so it passed a law.”
As the panel discussion continued in the program, Graham said, “When we talk about families and when we talk about gay people – many people and maybe gays that are watching will want to know, ‘Can God forgive me?’ or ‘Can I go to Heaven as a gay person?’ Absolutely. But the same for any of us, we have to repent of our sins and turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God.”
ABC’s Raddatz then, in reference to gays adopting children, asked, “What would you say to those children? What would you say to those children of gay parents – about their parents?”
Graham answered, “Of gay parents? That like any parent who’s living in sin, if we repent – Franklin Graham is a sinner, I’m no better than a gay person. I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins. And for any person who’s willing to repent and turn, God will forgive. And you can be gay and go to Heaven, no question.”
Regular ABC panelist Cokie Roberts then commented, “A lot of gay people feel that they are sinners but not because they’re gay.”
Sex: The New War on Men
It cannot have escaped anyone’s notice that on May Day (May 1, 2014), and within hours of one another, the nation and the media have been bombarded with more than a half dozen exquisitely choreographed and coordinated reports demanding action based on claims of skyrocketing sexual assaults occurring on campus and on the battlefield.
But are these claims plausible? I argue not.
Singly, or in combination, all of these claims suffer from one or more of the following five fatal flaws.
1. Sexual allegations made by females are not taken as allegations but rather as “settled fact.” These claims do not even consider the possibility that women might lie about any manner of things sexual and there is no statistical correction for false sexual allegations.
2. Women commit sexual assaults on men but female sexual perpetrators only rarely are prosecuted and male reports of abuse by female sexual predators only rarely are believed.
3. In order to “cook” the rapidly rising numbers needed for political effect, the Obama Administration has demanded that all investigations lower the standard of proof required for conviction or expulsion from “clear and convincing” evidence to a “preponderance” of evidence, which basically is a coin toss.
4. In order to falsely boost the rapidly rising numbers needed for political effect, the Obama Administration has moved the goal posts by expanding the definition of “sexual assault” to activities and circumstances most citizens would not even remotely consider to be rape. The former definition of forcible rape has morphed into anything sexual without “consent” and with the determination of “consent” left entirely up to the woman, even to be determined on the morning after.
5. Forcible rape is ranked second only to murder as a serious crime. Yet, Obama and the Progressives want to remove the investigation and prosecution of sexual crimes from the venues of the police and the courts and rather transfer these responsibilities to unqualified but ideologically sympathetic administrative units in universities and the military where the conclusion is foregone. Under Obama and the Progressives, men are stripped of all due process and cross-examination rights that they normally would be guaranteed in a court of law. Truly innocent men have no way to prove their innocence.
Finally: Men — don’t drink and have sex. A core principle of the Obama Administration’s New World Order is this: If alcohol crosses anyone’s lips, the male automatically is guilty of sexual assault and the female automatically is an innocent victim. With the consumption of any amount of alcohol, consensual sex does not exist.
The overwhelming onslaught of exquisitely choreographed and coordinated claims suggests that Obama and the Progressives are launching a War on Men to get the votes of women and advance their political base. This War clearly is designed to create not only “hostile work environments” but “dangerous work environments” for men on campus and in the military. This War further appears to be designed to eliminate men from the institutions to which they have striven and attained in the past and rapidly to make these coveted, prestigious and high paying positions open only to the political base of Obama and the Progressives.
Will Congress and the nation succumb to this loss of due process for men?
One hopes not. In my view, the words engraved above the entrance to the United States Supreme Court should prevail and apply equally to the sexual lives of both men and women: “Equal Justice Under Law.”
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.