Letters

Letters 04-13-2015

Perplexing Eighth Street Changes I’m writing to you about the way 8th Street in Traverse City is organized. I commute on 8th Street daily like hundreds of others.

115 Years of Injustice Investigative reporter Pat Sullivan’s March 23 article “BURNOUT” exposed for the first time to many northern Michigan residents the 115-year-old tragedy that took place at Burt Lake in October of 1900.

Kicking The Prop 1 Can “Proposal 1 consists of only 100 words, but if approved by voters on May 5, it would trigger into law thousands of other words in 10 bills passed by the state legislature in December.”

Expose The Republican Playbook There was much angst among Democratic Party loyalists after the November election about their failure to convey a strong populist message.

Unions Are Essential Thanks to Stephen Tuttle for pointing out in his recent column how we have had trade apprenticeships for decades throughout Michigan and other states.

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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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