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Messages - Steven W Bohler

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1
Your Turn / Re: Christian Nationalism? No
« on: November 23, 2022, 10:09:27 AM »
As has been pointed out, an abortion when the life of the mother is at risk has as its goal not the taking of a life but the saving of another.  However that cannot be said about an abortion in the case of rape or incest.

So only some lives matter, and also we get to choose which ones.  Precisely my point.  You, too, kill an innocent life with your policy. You just think you have better justification for it.

If you disagree with the goal of allowing a woman bodily autonomy in that case where she has already been raped once, I can understand and respect it.  Again, I've heard the arguments, and I don't find them wanting.  I just happen to disagree with it.  And mainly, I would ask only the same in return, rather than the accusatory tone you took upstream.  Assuming either of us has blood on his hands, I have, at best, only marginally more on mine than you on yours, so an honest discussion would take account of that.  For what it's worth, I do think there ought to be VERY narrow exceptions here.  I don't think someone at 20 weeks gestational age gets to say "oh, by the way, I was raped." But allowing a morning-after pill, or a chemical agent to ensure she is not pregnant, or a D and C that early on?  I absolutely think that should be allowed in those few cases where the mother was raped or is a child who was a victim of incestuous rape.  And again, most pro-lifers agree with me on this, at least where I live.  Your mileage may vary on that last part.

You miss the point: the abortion to save the life of the mother does not have the goal of taking a life but rather of saving one; that is not the same with an abortion in the case of rape or incest.  If the life of the child could be saved in the first instance, it would; not so in the second.  There IS a difference.

2
Your Turn / Re: Christian Nationalism? No
« on: November 22, 2022, 11:49:49 AM »
And before you do the go-to move of the pro-abortion movement and say "what about rape and incest," please understand the vast majority of pro-life people in this country are in favor of exceptions for those things.  It will save us all some time.
With all do respect, I'm going to have to object to your race/incest observation.  What you say may inform the middle/majority of the country as a political matter, which does not agree with abortion on demand.  That's not the same thing as what the anti-abortion faction holds dear and continues to pursue.  The argument on the sanctity of life breaks down exactly when you start making exceptions for how the child was conceived.  If life begins at conception, what difference does it make whether it was the result of rape?  That is not a winning political message. 

If people are given essentially a binary political choice between allowing some more abortions than they might prefer but retaining a rape/incest exception, versus prohibiting all abortions at a very early stage including rape/incest, guess which one they're going to choose.

You may think my binary options are a false choice.  Maybe so, but that's what I see as the current political landscape which is likely to continue (until the losses start piling up).  Because the anti-abortion side, at its core, fundamentally believes what I stated above and cannot bring itself to compromise politically on that point...because it invalidates their entire moral framework.  Enjoy right-of-center candidates continuing to lose elections in historical strongholds if this remains the case.  It's a similar dynamic to the Trump/Never-Trump dynamic playing out right now--potentially dividing the Republican party (a motivated minority of primary voters choosing candidates unacceptable to the rest of the party and independents), allowing Democrats to win general elections.

Maybe this does not in fact bother you personally, since you've expressed a prior sympathy with the Democrats on other social/economic issues.  It may also be why you couldn't ever comprehend a Republican congressman could vote in good faith to repeal Obamacare, even without something particular to replace it.  But that's revisiting an old argument and best for another day.

People who support the exception, such as myself, and my wife, and I believe my three daughters, generally do so because while the woman's bodily autonomy is insufficient to warrant an abortion when weighed against the interests of her innocent child in the vast, vast majority of cases, it is also not nothing and may not be summarily dismissed.  When a woman is raped, at the very least things such as emergency contraception ought to be allowed, not because there is no chance that they might act as an abortifacient, but because an act of force against her should not require her to carry her rapist's baby to term.  This is all the more persuasive the younger the woman is, but I think as a general rule, most people favor that exception.

I don't expect you to agree on this, and I understand the reason for your disagreement and I respect it.  But I do believe based on my own experience discussing these issues at length with pro-life people in my community, including pro-life legislators and the heads of pro-life organizations, it is the majority view.  Granted, it is likely a concession, but the vast majority of pro-lifers I know support those exceptions.

When Georgia passed its heartbeat law, those exceptions were included specifically.  Again, I followed that closely because the main sponsors are friends of mine.  Would they prefer to live in a world where those exceptions were not in there?  Honestly, I don't know.  I think mostly they'd prefer to live in a world where rape and incest aren't realities.  It's just that isn't the world we live in.

So, only SOME lives matter.  Those conceived by rape and incest do not?  I certainly hope you are wrong about this being the position of most pro-life people.  Because then we are only drawing the line in a different place than the most rabid abortion advocate but ultimately agreeing that only certain lives matter and that we decide which those are.

There has to be a weighing of interests.  Before, under Roe, there was none.  It seems you wish to return to a place where there also is none, only it goes the other way.

No, every life matters.  But the woman's life is one of those lives that matters, and must be taken into account.  It's why we allow exceptions when her life is threatened by continuing to term.  I assume you agree with that exception, so perhaps we can save the accusatory tone, lest you be hoist on your own petard. 

Or perhaps you really do think that women should die so long as there is the minutest chance the child might survive, in which case I can only say "good luck convincing anyone of that."

As has been pointed out, an abortion when the life of the mother is at risk has as its goal not the taking of a life but the saving of another.  However that cannot be said about an abortion in the case of rape or incest. 

3
Your Turn / Re: Christian Nationalism? No
« on: November 22, 2022, 11:25:25 AM »
And before you do the go-to move of the pro-abortion movement and say "what about rape and incest," please understand the vast majority of pro-life people in this country are in favor of exceptions for those things.  It will save us all some time.
With all do respect, I'm going to have to object to your race/incest observation.  What you say may inform the middle/majority of the country as a political matter, which does not agree with abortion on demand.  That's not the same thing as what the anti-abortion faction holds dear and continues to pursue.  The argument on the sanctity of life breaks down exactly when you start making exceptions for how the child was conceived.  If life begins at conception, what difference does it make whether it was the result of rape?  That is not a winning political message. 

If people are given essentially a binary political choice between allowing some more abortions than they might prefer but retaining a rape/incest exception, versus prohibiting all abortions at a very early stage including rape/incest, guess which one they're going to choose.

You may think my binary options are a false choice.  Maybe so, but that's what I see as the current political landscape which is likely to continue (until the losses start piling up).  Because the anti-abortion side, at its core, fundamentally believes what I stated above and cannot bring itself to compromise politically on that point...because it invalidates their entire moral framework.  Enjoy right-of-center candidates continuing to lose elections in historical strongholds if this remains the case.  It's a similar dynamic to the Trump/Never-Trump dynamic playing out right now--potentially dividing the Republican party (a motivated minority of primary voters choosing candidates unacceptable to the rest of the party and independents), allowing Democrats to win general elections.

Maybe this does not in fact bother you personally, since you've expressed a prior sympathy with the Democrats on other social/economic issues.  It may also be why you couldn't ever comprehend a Republican congressman could vote in good faith to repeal Obamacare, even without something particular to replace it.  But that's revisiting an old argument and best for another day.

People who support the exception, such as myself, and my wife, and I believe my three daughters, generally do so because while the woman's bodily autonomy is insufficient to warrant an abortion when weighed against the interests of her innocent child in the vast, vast majority of cases, it is also not nothing and may not be summarily dismissed.  When a woman is raped, at the very least things such as emergency contraception ought to be allowed, not because there is no chance that they might act as an abortifacient, but because an act of force against her should not require her to carry her rapist's baby to term.  This is all the more persuasive the younger the woman is, but I think as a general rule, most people favor that exception.

I don't expect you to agree on this, and I understand the reason for your disagreement and I respect it.  But I do believe based on my own experience discussing these issues at length with pro-life people in my community, including pro-life legislators and the heads of pro-life organizations, it is the majority view.  Granted, it is likely a concession, but the vast majority of pro-lifers I know support those exceptions.

When Georgia passed its heartbeat law, those exceptions were included specifically.  Again, I followed that closely because the main sponsors are friends of mine.  Would they prefer to live in a world where those exceptions were not in there?  Honestly, I don't know.  I think mostly they'd prefer to live in a world where rape and incest aren't realities.  It's just that isn't the world we live in.

So, only SOME lives matter.  Those conceived by rape and incest do not?  I certainly hope you are wrong about this being the position of most pro-life people.  Because then we are only drawing the line in a different place than the most rabid abortion advocate but ultimately agreeing that only certain lives matter and that we decide which those are.

4
Your Turn / Re: All Hallows Eve Fun
« on: November 01, 2022, 03:35:09 PM »
Our parochial school held their annual Trunk or Treat yesterday after school.  In an hour we had given away all the candy (and school fliers) we had -- that has NEVER happened before!  Figured we had close to 300 kids (plus parents and grandparents).  Not bad for a town of a little less than 8,000.  Good exposure for our church and school.
We did our on Sunday afternoon and had the same result-- ran out of everything in the first half hour and had to run to the store for candy and scramble to make copies and assemble bags with fliers and info on the church and school. Tough to say why some years things go gangbusters and others years, most probably the ones you're prepared for things to go gangbusters, everything sort of fizzles.
Perhaps this is a variation on Brother Chilchester's Law: If the weather is especially bad, church attendance will be down. If the weather is especially good, attendance will be down. If the supply of bulletins is down, attendance will exceed all expectations.

The weather was the best we have ever had.  Clear skies and 60's for temps.  After close to a week of similar weather.  Some years we have had snow and dreamed of portable heaters. 

5
Your Turn / Re: All Hallows Eve Fun
« on: November 01, 2022, 12:08:37 PM »
Our parochial school held their annual Trunk or Treat yesterday after school.  In an hour we had given away all the candy (and school fliers) we had -- that has NEVER happened before!  Figured we had close to 300 kids (plus parents and grandparents).  Not bad for a town of a little less than 8,000.  Good exposure for our church and school.

6
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: October 31, 2022, 04:10:20 PM »
Have had no COVID vaccination or booster(s).  Feel fine.  No aches or pains, no fevers or side effects. 

7
Your Turn / Re: Women theological authors
« on: October 23, 2022, 03:26:47 PM »
The problem with your claim (that this "women keeping silent" refers ONLY to that particular setting) is that Paul starts the sentence by saying: "As in ALL the congregations of the saints..."  Kinda kills your second option of limited application and kinda requires the first understanding (you know, the one that you and yours have rejected).


Yet, it doesn't show up in most of his letters to other congregations of the saints. There is also an issue that verse 33 came before verse 36, because verses 34-35 are placed after verse 40 in some ancient manuscripts.

I don't even know what your first sentence means.  Because Paul did not write it in every epistle, it does not really count?  What a ridiculous argument that would be!

8
Your Turn / Re: Women theological authors
« on: October 23, 2022, 03:24:43 PM »
And it’s all interpretation, isn’t it, Pastor Bohler. Interpretation. Interpretation. Interpretation. You got yours. We got ours.

To toy with Kipling…
Yours is yours, and ours is ours, and never the twain shall meet
‘Til Earth and sky stand presently at God‘s great judgment seat.
But there is neither yours nor ours, faction, nor creed nor worth,
Should Christian friends stand side by side, though they come from opposite ends of the theological spectrum.
(Sorry, Rudyard, I couldn’t make the last line work.)

No.  Not at all.  That is, it is NOT all interpretation.  Unless you would call ignoring, negating, or denying the first part of Paul's sentence only "interpreting".  But with that kind of interpretation (that is, adding or subtracting from the words of Scripture to suit one's wishes), one can make the Bible say anything you want.  But then, perhaps that IS what you and yours do....  Homosexuality is now OK.  Praying to the "goddess" is OK.  Killing babies is OK.  I have to say, such a method of "interpretation" threatens to put one outside of Christianity.  At least so says St. John in Revelation 22, and Moses in Deuteronomy (or, to be more to the point, so says God who is the Author of Scripture).

9
Your Turn / Re: Women theological authors
« on: October 23, 2022, 01:06:16 PM »
As for the author in question, I don't think I;ve ever read her stuff, but I've already said I have no problem with CPH publishing a book by her regardless of whether it is intended for seminary classroom instruction. What they would say though, is that your view of "gifts" is identical to many arguments for women's ordination. My take treats the "teaching" of a book via CPH as a substantively different than the authoritative teaching that pastors do. Yours doesn't. It is whether someone has/manifests that gift. This is why you've never been able to persuade anyone you're against women's ordination and why that topic always comes up when anything to do with women comes up.   

Interesting.  I disagree.  Through the years I've found that any discussion of the actual use in the Body of Christ of the gifts of the Spirit is moved to the discard bin vigorously by many in the LCMS, because the emphasis is on the coordinated ministry of the Body of Christ and not the organizational structure of the Body.  But thanks for bringing women's ordination into the conversation and then granting yourself the rationale for doing so.

Dave Benke
The topic of ordination has already come up repeatedly in this thread. I didn't introduce it but merely acknowledged it. Your framing of things in terms of quenching the Spirit leaves a lot out of the equation. St. Paul says that he does not allow a woman to teach or have authority over a man. The same St. Paul is who you cite concerning spiritual gifts, including the gift of teaching. How do you reconcile his words without simple contradiction? Should we understand St. Paul to be saying that he prefers to quench the Spirit by not allowing a woman to teach or have authority over a man? Or must we acknowledge that not allowing a woman to teach or have authority over a man in no way quenches the Spirit or wastes the various spiritual gifts given to Christians for the edification of the Church?


It seems to me that there are two basic approaches the women be silent passages.
1. They are truths for all time and places, like "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
2. They are dealing with a particular problem at a particular place and time, like women's head coverings.


When the ALC first began ordaining women, it was clear that they understood the passages in the second way. Its prohibitions were given for a particular problem in those congregations. They would apply to us only if we were facing the same problems as they were. We aren't. They don't apply.


The second approach, then, doesn't contradict the use of women's gifts mentioned in other passages for the good of the church.

The problem with your claim (that this "women keeping silent" refers ONLY to that particular setting) is that Paul starts the sentence by saying: "As in ALL the congregations of the saints..."  Kinda kills your second option of limited application and kinda requires the first understanding (you know, the one that you and yours have rejected).

11
Your Turn / Re: The culture war we should be fighting
« on: July 11, 2022, 12:42:54 PM »
The problem is that renting is not supposed to be a long term, rooted, multi-generational lifestyle. It is for people trying to get on their feet or who need mobility. If you want the stability of being in the same place for a long time, you need to invest all you have (including your long-term future) in that place, i.e. buy, not rent. Good neighborhoods generally have high percentages of owner-occupied dwellings. Bad neighborhoods or good neighborhoods with high volatility that could turn bad quickly are where most people rent.


Who says that renting is not supposed to be a long term life-style? Our sons have little to no interest in buying houses. One, with a roommate, is renting a four-bedroom house that they couldn't afford to buy … and they are not responsible for the upkeep. The other is renting a one-bedroom on the 23rd floor with a magnificent view, which he couldn't afford to buy.


My grandparents spent their working lives living in a rented house and farmed rented land. 

Quote
Why does anyone think it is a matter of justice for people to live in somebody else's house for drastically less than the fair market rental value of that house? If you're living for $2000/mo. in an apartment that could be renting for $5000/mo. are you paying income tax on that 3k of free benefits?


If renters are taxed on the rent they aren't paying, clergy had better watch out. They could be paying tax on the fair market rental value of parsonages.

I do pay taxes on the fair market value of the parsonage (and provided utilities).  Both income tax and social security (both ends).

12
Your Turn / Re: Guns? Why?
« on: May 27, 2022, 08:29:50 PM »
Don't fret, Rev. Austin, as usual your protector(s) have fixed it for you by deleting my post.  Again.  Why YOU are allowed to go on and on and on with your hysteria and unhinged comments -- despite the countless complaints against your posts, even by a moderator! -- I do not know.  But obviously I have been deemed expendable to this board.  Twitter and FaceBook ain't got nothin' on this site.  Adios.

I consider your input important, and I hope that you continue to provide it.  Please don't become yet another victim of our local version of Chucky.

In this case it was NOT Rev. Austin but the moderator(s) who have been deleting my responses to him about as fast as I post them.  Rev. Austin's hysteria I have come to expect.  But moderator(s) who run interference for him, I did not.

13
Your Turn / Re: Guns? Why?
« on: May 27, 2022, 04:03:07 PM »
And here we have Pastor Bohler again jumping in with his usual unproven allegations, carrying grudges and maligning people who are on the other side of the issue that he supports. (These people, by the way, having absolutely nothing to do with the terrible situation currently at hand.)

In Texas news today, it now appears that the “good guys with guns” weren’t much good as the school shooter continued his killing. Law enforcement officials can’t seem to explain why the “good guys with guns” stood outside rather than attacking the shooter.
The NRA begins its meeting in Texas today. That should be fun. And it’s an opportunity. I wonder who will take the opportunity and to what end.

Don't fret, Rev. Austin, as usual your protector(s) have fixed it for you by deleting my post.  Again.  Why YOU are allowed to go on and on and on with your hysteria and unhinged comments -- despite the countless complaints against your posts, even by a moderator! -- I do not know.  But obviously I have been deemed expendable to this board.  Twitter and FaceBook ain't got nothin' on this site.  Adios.

14
Your Turn / Re: Guns? Why?
« on: May 25, 2022, 09:19:00 PM »
Did you really mean to say this:

Quote
a fee of thousand dollars of anytime the car was driven by someone other than its owner?

Do you see that you've described something like a rental agreement rather than a purchase?

As far as costs are concerned, consumer pressure and learned efficiencies could reduce the costs over time.

Costs matter. Second Amendment rights matter. Lives and security matter. I'm praying we work through all that to make improvements. We can do better as a nation.

Several states have toyed with the idea of requiring an FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder every time a gun is in possession of anyone not its owner.  That means if I took a friend to the gun range and he wanted to try my gun, I would be required to have an FFL holder involved.  And, as Mr. Rustad points out, that individual can charge significant rates.  Of course, if my friend, after trying it, was to return it to me then he would also have to go through an FFL holder and pay another fee. 

A couple of years ago, a young single lady in our church wanted to get her concealed-carry permit.  She had no guns and no experience with guns.  So my wife and I brought her to the local gun range, with an assortment of different weapons for her to try.  I had revolvers and semi-autos.  I had .22, .38 SPL, .357 magnum, 9mm, .40, .45 ACP and .45 LC -- not that she actually TRIED all of them, but they were there, in case she wished to do so.  I must have had 15-20 handguns for her to try.  Now, imagine the cost of the transfer fees that day had Minnesota had such a law!  $90/gun ($45 to transfer it to her and another $45 to transfer it back to me) x 15 guns=$1350.  For just that one day!  Not to mention the incredibly stupid idea of having to either go to an FFL holder or bring him out to the range! 

15
Your Turn / Re: Pelosi barred from taking communion
« on: May 23, 2022, 03:53:09 PM »
I have been impatiently waiting for about 30 years or so for one of the two political parties to champion the family as the foundational institution in society.  There have been glimpses -- Gingrich talked about it in the 1990s when he spoke of how all of the institutional qualifiers for welfare benefits were anti-family.  Get married?  You're cut off.  Get a job?  You're cut off.  Mainly if you were single and had more kids, that is where the money is, and so we get what we pay for.  For a while Rubio did the same.  But as respective political parties, Republicans are economically anti-family and Democrats are formally so.


A single mother told me that she really wanted to work, but she needed a job that would pay at least as much as she was getting on welfare and provide health insurance, especially for her child. Otherwise, she and her child were better off on welfare. It isn't just the welfare system that is the problem, but the lack of a livable minimum wage and benefits that support families with young children. (This lady was able to get a job that paid better than welfare and had benefits for her and her child.)

Way back in 1984, when I started working for the county administering welfare programs, an experienced case worker quit because she discovered that she was financially further ahead receiving welfare than administering it.  Admittedly, we were not paid a king's ransom in that job but there is a problem when it is more lucrative NOT to work than to work.


And for my friend, the bigger concern was the health care for her child.

As county employees, we had pretty decent health insurance.  But nowhere near as good as medical assistance.  Again, there is a problem when not working is rewarded with greater benefits than working.

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