Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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A local pastor and a local atheist debate Should Abortion Be Legal?

- August 18th, 2014  

As we all know, much ink (and blood) has been spilled over the whole abortion debate. I hardly believe my 270 words will be a game-changer, but I offer them for your consideration:

I originally started out with three arguments as to why abortion has been a bad deal for everyone—women, men, and society as a whole. I’m old enough to remember one of the early pro-choice arguments: abortion will eliminate or severely curtain child abuse because only wanted children will be born. Have you checked out the statistics on child abuse rates over the past 40 years lately?

Space doesn’t allow me to dive deep into the reasons why abortion is a bad deal for everyone, so let me take a different approach: every human being is uniquely created in the image of God. I bet you didn’t see the “God-card” coming from the pastor, right?

While my atheist friends see human life as a quirk of history or biology, followers of Jesus believe we are neither incidental nor accidental. We are providential—created by God and for God’s purposes. And if that one statement is true, it changes the way we view every human being—born and unborn.

Life is sacred. Treasure, nurture, and protect it. There are tons of viable alternatives to abortion that protect the sanctity of the life of the unborn child and assist women in crisis pregnancies. I say stop the madness, pass laws that protect the unborn child, and let’s unleash unprecedented amounts of compassion for both the pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Gary’s Response

Yes, life is sacred. Overpopulation threatens the lives of everyone currently living, as well as those not yet born. It also threatens our ultimate viability on the planet. I cannot envision ignoring our future as part of any god’s purpose. Additionally, abortion is often the only way to protect the life of the mother. Overshadowing all of that is the absolute right we all have to self-determination. I marvel at conservative views that espouse the benefits of capital punishment, but ignore the needs of women who are unhappily pregnant. Abortion is an unfortunate choice, but must remain one until we find better solutions.

This may be the most polarizing subject in America today. Depending on the poll, the country is almost evenly divided on whether or not abortion should be legal, with qualifiers for varying circumstances. I have straddled the fence on this issue my entire life; I see merit to both views.

One consideration must be that world population is nearing the point at which the Earth can no longer equitably sustain its human inhabitants. Do we continue to increase that number irrespective of the fact that many births are unplanned and unwanted? We must find a better way to control for this outcome since current birth control methods are clearly inadequate and not available to everyone.

Ultimately though, I see this as a matter of personal choice. Who am I to tell a pregnant 17- year old that she must give birth to a child regardless of her wishes? It is similar to demanding that we all be required to donate organs upon death so that others may live. What we do with our bodies must always remain our decision alone.

Nonetheless, I see a need to establish some limits. While it is absurd to attach personhood to a two-day old zygote, a viable fetus is a different matter altogether. In my view, the point at which a developing birth can survive outside the womb is the point at which we should demand legal protection. At that stage, it is no longer just one body.

Nick’s Response

Personal choice...hard to argue against that. Except when that choice ends the life of an innocent child. In 100% of abortions the child essentially screams, “I CHOOSE LIFE.” Immunologists (among others) have demonstrated that the baby growing inside the mother is a completely separate life growing inside her. This is not like a tumor that can be removed and discarded. This is a baby for crying out loud! Some day we will look back and ask ourselves, “How did we ever come to a point where we thought killing tens of millions of unborn children was okay?”

Where We Agree

Nick and Gary agree that life is sacred and that no one finds abortion to be a suitable solution for unwanted pregnancies. Both feel strongly that childbirth is an amazing experience and that in an ideal world, every baby would be welcomed into a loving home.

 
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