Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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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