Author Topic: Abortion and Politics  (Read 72149 times)

peter_speckhard

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #195 on: October 16, 2012, 01:43:31 PM »
So Mr. Teigen, at what point in a pregnancy do you believe life actually begins (and the church is obligated to defend an innocent child)?


Note: medically there's a difference between conception (when a sperm fertilizes an egg) and pregnancy (when the zygote implants itself in the uterus). "Life" is another confusing word, because sperms and eggs are alive even if conception doesn't take place.


A question the church has wondered over the centuries is when does the soul enter into the life of the fetus -- and they have come up with different answers.
So if a woman is, say, almost three months pregnant, is it still a mystery whether she is carrying a human life? If not-- if we can at least say that after a month or so of pregnancy we're sure it is human-- then can we at least agree that abortions in those circumstances should be prohibited?

Norman Teigen

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #196 on: October 16, 2012, 01:47:26 PM »
Coach-Rev:  Thank you for word of correction.  I deserved that and I thank you for pointing out my excess.  I should have not done that and I will not do it again. MEA CULPA to all.


Norman Teigen
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George Erdner

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #197 on: October 16, 2012, 01:59:06 PM »
I am recommending the following story to the readers of this thread.  I recognize that many will be outraged by the analysis presented because it runs counter to what many here consider to be the absolute, binding truth.  Well, folks, it ain't necessarily so.   

I realize that opening minds on this subject is nearly hopeless, but there is always hope.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/opinion/paul-ryan-catholic-dissident.html?ref=opinion

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod


Apparently, some folks can't see the difference between someone being almost totally in agreement and someone being in total disagreement. How open of a mind does one need to see that one candidate's position is extremely close to the position of the Roman Catholic Church and the other candidate's position is in total opposition to that of the RCC?


Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #198 on: October 16, 2012, 02:42:48 PM »
From my recording of Prof. Robert W. Jenson during the extemporaneous Q&A after his Skype address during the latest STS General Retreat (emphasis added):

Quote from: Robert Jenson

I would say that the issue on which the church, part of the church, is breaking up is in fact the classical abortion and marriage. If we cannot say what it takes to make a marriage beyond affection, or if we cannot say why the person conceived in Mary's womb was at that moment the Logos of God, then we're out of luck.


Something to ponder, no?

Christe eleison, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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Linda

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #199 on: October 16, 2012, 04:43:58 PM »
Is there a consensus on when fetuses feel pain?  If, scientifically, it can be shown at a certain stage of development that everything is present in the fetus to inform it of pain, shouldn't preborn life have legal protection from torture? Animals should not die piece by piece, and neither should humans.

Linda

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #200 on: October 16, 2012, 06:25:09 PM »
So Mr. Teigen, at what point in a pregnancy do you believe life actually begins (and the church is obligated to defend an innocent child)?


Note: medically there's a difference between conception (when a sperm fertilizes an egg) and pregnancy (when the zygote implants itself in the uterus). "Life" is another confusing word, because sperms and eggs are alive even if conception doesn't take place.


A question the church has wondered over the centuries is when does the soul enter into the life of the fetus -- and they have come up with different answers.
So if a woman is, say, almost three months pregnant, is it still a mystery whether she is carrying a human life? If not-- if we can at least say that after a month or so of pregnancy we're sure it is human-- then can we at least agree that abortions in those circumstances should be prohibited?


Just like killing any human is prohibited, but sometimes we do it for justifiable reasons; e.g., self-defense, to protect others, and some even consider the peaceful ending of a life to avoid further pain and suffering to be justifiable, some don't. The US has justified being the only nation to ever drop atomic bombs on populated areas because a greater good came of killing thousands of human beings.


Since there are justifiable reasons for killing an infant in the womb, (such as what the ELCA has in it's Statement on Abortion) I don't believe that we should create laws to prohibit abortion, even though there are people who misuse the laws for abortions that are not justifiable.


Similarly, I don't believe firearms should be prohibited even though many people misuse them and unjustifiably kill other people.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Matthew Voyer STS

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #201 on: October 16, 2012, 06:39:21 PM »
Brian even if I agreed with the exceptions (which I don't) your logic would still be flawed. If we named rape, incest, and mother's health as justifiable reasons to kill the unborn we are still talking about no more than 7% of abortions being performed for justifiable reasons.  If 93% of people are procuring abortions for unjustifiable reasons isn't it time to create laws to prohibit infanticide. Rape and health of the mother comments strike me as being red herrings that do little to move the conversation along.

pearson

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #202 on: October 16, 2012, 06:54:19 PM »

Since there are justifiable reasons for killing an infant in the womb, (such as what the ELCA has in it's Statement on Abortion) I don't believe that we should create laws to prohibit abortion, even though there are people who misuse the laws for abortions that are not justifiable.


So if there are justifiable reasons for performing a certain action (say, killing an infant in the womb), then we should not create laws to prohibit that action.  Is that right?


Just like killing any human is prohibited, but sometimes we do it for justifiable reasons; e.g., self-defense, to protect others, and some even consider the peaceful ending of a life to avoid further pain and suffering to be justifiable, some don't.


And since there are justifiable reasons for "killing any human," then we should not create laws to prohibit the action of "killing any human."  Is that right?

I'm just trying to locate the consistency in the argument here.

Tom Pearson

Dan Fienen

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #203 on: October 16, 2012, 09:24:40 PM »
So Mr. Teigen, at what point in a pregnancy do you believe life actually begins (and the church is obligated to defend an innocent child)?


Note: medically there's a difference between conception (when a sperm fertilizes an egg) and pregnancy (when the zygote implants itself in the uterus). "Life" is another confusing word, because sperms and eggs are alive even if conception doesn't take place.


A question the church has wondered over the centuries is when does the soul enter into the life of the fetus -- and they have come up with different answers.
So if a woman is, say, almost three months pregnant, is it still a mystery whether she is carrying a human life? If not-- if we can at least say that after a month or so of pregnancy we're sure it is human-- then can we at least agree that abortions in those circumstances should be prohibited?


Just like killing any human is prohibited, but sometimes we do it for justifiable reasons; e.g., self-defense, to protect others, and some even consider the peaceful ending of a life to avoid further pain and suffering to be justifiable, some don't. The US has justified being the only nation to ever drop atomic bombs on populated areas because a greater good came of killing thousands of human beings.


Since there are justifiable reasons for killing an infant in the womb, (such as what the ELCA has in it's Statement on Abortion) I don't believe that we should create laws to prohibit abortion, even though there are people who misuse the laws for abortions that are not justifiable.


Similarly, I don't believe firearms should be prohibited even though many people misuse them and unjustifiably kill other people.
Your analogy does not quite match up.  In the one case (abortion) you talk about laws  banning an activity.  In the other case (guns) you are talking about laws banning a tool.  If we were to parallel your position re laws concerning abortion to laws concerning guns, the apples to apples analogy would be that even though people at times missuse guns and use them to unjustifiable kill people that does not mean that there should be any laws prohibiting any use of guns.
 
Dan
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #204 on: October 16, 2012, 10:25:21 PM »

Since there are justifiable reasons for killing an infant in the womb, (such as what the ELCA has in it's Statement on Abortion) I don't believe that we should create laws to prohibit abortion, even though there are people who misuse the laws for abortions that are not justifiable.


So if there are justifiable reasons for performing a certain action (say, killing an infant in the womb), then we should not create laws to prohibit that action.  Is that right?


We should not create laws that prohibit all abortions that would eliminate the legality of the justifiable ones. (We are not likely to agree on the justifiable ones.)


Just like killing any human is prohibited, but sometimes we do it for justifiable reasons; e.g., self-defense, to protect others, and some even consider the peaceful ending of a life to avoid further pain and suffering to be justifiable, some don't.


And since there are justifiable reasons for "killing any human," then we should not create laws to prohibit the action of "killing any human."  Is that right?


We do not create laws that prohibit the manufacture and selling of all firearms or other weapons that are misused to kill others.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 11:20:23 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #205 on: October 16, 2012, 11:29:17 PM »
Your analogy does not quite match up.  In the one case (abortion) you talk about laws  banning an activity.  In the other case (guns) you are talking about laws banning a tool.  If we were to parallel your position re laws concerning abortion to laws concerning guns, the apples to apples analogy would be that even though people at times missuse guns and use them to unjustifiable kill people that does not mean that there should be any laws prohibiting any use of guns.


You are right. I'll make the second activity killing a human being. We do not make laws that prohibit the killing of all other human beings. That is, we allow soliders in combat to kill others (even permit some collateral damage of the killing of non-combatants). We allow killing another human when one believes their own life or a that of a loved one is threatened, e.g., the "stand your ground" law. Oregon, my home state, permits physician assisted suicide ("death with dignity") under some stringent requirements.


I could even make the more general activity of taking a life. Only under certain circumstances do we prohibit the taking of life. Few people feel badly about taking the life of a mosquito. Many of my friends in Wyoming take the lives of moose, elk, deer, and antelope. There are limits on the killing of such game, but it is not completely prohibited.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dadoo

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #206 on: October 17, 2012, 09:25:11 AM »
Thank you, Pastor Kruse.

 I found an old clipping from the New York Times, June 27, 2004 "The Bishops and the Bible." 

The distinguished Mr. Wills wrote:  "The command not to kill is directed at the killing of persons, and the issue in abortion is this:   When does the fetus become a person?  The answer to that is not given by church teaching.  Even St. Thomas Aquinas, who thought that a soul was infused into the body, could only guess when that infusion took place (and he did not guess at 'fertilization').  St. Augustine confessed an agnosticism about the human status of the fetus.

"Natural reason must use natural tools to deal with this question - philosophy, neurobiology, psychology, medicine.  When is the fetus 'viable,' and viable as what?  Does personality come only with responsibility, with personal communication?  On none of these do the bishops have special expertise.  John Henry Newman said, 'The pope, who comes of Revelation, has no jurisdiction over Nature.'

"The evidence from natural sources of knowledge has been interpreted in various ways by people of good intentions and good information.  If natural law teachings were clear on the matter, a consensus would have been formed by those with natural reason.  The fact that the problem is unsettled by them does not mean that a theological authority can be resorted to. An invalid authority (theology) does not become valid faute mieux."

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod

On the first paragraph, the distinguished Mr. Wills should have read Humanae Vitae and remind himself that the issue is that the "life" is human, so regardless how and when "personhood arrives, human life is spoken of and as human life it is to be protected and cherished even if it is so helpless that questions of personhood arise. So the answer of "personhood" is really not relevant.
It is also not a matter of "thou shall not murder." By using that line he is embarking on a quest to discover the limits of the commandment and asks: "But if it is not a "person" then it is OK, right?"  He might have done better, again reading Humanae Vitae or stopping in at a good conservative Lutheran Church where he would have read that to ask the question: "When can I kill my neighbor?" is already a complete transgression of the commandments and a complete denial of hospitality or charity or concern for the "least of these."
Should the gentleman be RC he certainly must have sat through a mass on the day of Annunciation and have heard that the specific "personhood" of one Jesus of Nazareth was quite well known to the angle Gabriel and therefor also to God who sent said angel. The question of personhood might rest in the will of God. That should have occurred to Mr. Wills.
Does the distinguished gent understand how theology is done and how patristic sources are used in theology? Does he understand that saying: Augustine didn't say, or St Thomas does not speculate, is not normative? Does he accept the idea of a soul? When does it get there? He makes no argument himself but seems to suggest that St Thomas believed something he himself does not, namely that the soul was infused. If he does not believe in "the soul" or its infusion then what does he believe? If we are joined, soul and body, then the logical conclusion is that we are soul and body once we have an existence that is uniquely ourselves. That is at conception, even if St Thomas did not "guess" that, when a biological entity that is genetically similar but distinct from the host, the mother, is created. Had he though that through he would have not written that unless he is actually atheist or at minimum does not believe in the idea of a soul.

On the second paragraph: Yes, Newman said that. A quaint saying indeed. But is it relevant? No one is controlling anything in the debate on abortion. The debate is descriptive of what already is, not prescriptive on powers over which we have no control. It might, in this paragraph also have occurred to the writer, whose "distinguished - ness I am questioning, that, if we now want to talk about "natural reason" and physical science, that in the world of natural science the purpose of life is life. In other words, the reason there is human life is to reproduce and create more human life just like other mammals reptiles, fish and invertebrates do in their kind. If then the purpose of the individual in life is to replicate, then the idea to intentionally interfere with that process by the individual is to contradict its biological reason for being. The day that anyone claims that: "Its only natural . . . " is the day they have to accept that they are to reproduce and not stand in the way of the same. The idea that one should ask for "viability" is irrelevant. There is a developing fetus - the reproductive process is in motion and if natural reason must be obeyed then it must be left to take its course.
I further note that "these bishops" probably DO have expertise: If they are products of RC seminary and pre - seminary education, then they most definitely are expert enough on philosophy which Mr. Wills thinks should be applied.

The third paragraph is really a sly little attempt to marginalize theology, and therefore the church and her voices, and exclude the church from the debate. "An invalid authority (theology) does not become valid for lack of anything better?" Theology is invalid in the debate on human meaning, value, existence or issues of life and death? Surely you, Norman, see that that is absolutely ludicrous.
And theology is somehow the last resort? Does this man understand how human intellectual disciplines, philosophy, natural science, art, theology interact? Apparently not, since that paragraph is not indicative of such understanding or, alternately, suggests that he rejects theology as a discipline comparable to astrology.

It would appear to me that the distinguished-  ness of the gentleman rests solely in the fact that he was published by the NYT. I would not read him again if I was you. Maybe old clippings should finally go to waste, especially if they do not add to the debate.

To join with the deaconess from just South of me: When is human life human life and worthy of your respect?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 09:52:34 AM by Dadoo »
Peter Kruse

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Dan Fienen

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #207 on: October 17, 2012, 10:14:13 AM »
Sorry, Posted on wrong thread.
 
When people of faith struggled to enshrine their understanding of human dignity, worth and equality despite differences in race in civil rights legislation, were they improperly forcing their religion on others whose ideas, even religious ideas, differed?  When Roman Catholic priests and other people of faith spoke prophetically against the war in Vietnam, and other wars since, or speak in support of the poor and oppressed, is their public speaking improper because it is rooted in their faith?

Why then is it improper for a RC archbishop to support public legislation on marriage that his church supports and which they believe is for the good of society?  Can it be because civil rights, anti-war, and support for the poor are causes approved by progressives and they'll accept any support offered, but the marriage amendment is something they disapprove of and  will disallow anyone they can whose speech they dislike?

We have been told that within the ELCA conservatives and traditionalists are welcome and their voices are important as part of the discussion.  Does this op ed piece by Bishop Chilstrom support or contradict that idea?

Dan
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 01:07:39 PM by Dan Fienen »
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Dadoo

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #208 on: October 17, 2012, 10:25:34 AM »
When people of faith struggled to enshrine their understanding of human dignity, worth and equality despite differences in race in civil rights legislation, were they improperly forcing their religion on others whose ideas, even religious ideas, differed?  When Roman Catholic priests and other people of faith spoke prophetically against the war in Vietnam, and other wars since, or speak in support of the poor and oppressed, is their public speaking improper because it is rooted in their faith?

Why then is it improper for a RC archbishop to support public legislation on marriage that his church supports and which they believe is for the good of society?  Can it be because civil rights, anti-war, and support for the poor are causes approved by progressives and they'll accept any support offered, but the marriage amendment is something they disapprove of and  will disallow anyone they can whose speech they dislike?

We have been told that within the ELCA conservatives and traditionalists are welcome and their voices are important as part of the discussion.  Does this op ed piece by Bishop Chilstrom support or contradict that idea?

Dan

You might have just posted that on the wrong thread . . .  ::)

CHilstrom stuff is discussed here http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=4227.msg275835#msg275835
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 10:28:27 AM by Dadoo »
Peter Kruse

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Charles_Austin

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Re: Abortion and Politics
« Reply #209 on: October 17, 2012, 10:28:16 AM »
No one is cutting anyone off, Pastor Fienen, from expressing their views in whatever forum possible. What seems odd to me is the suggestion here that excoriates former bishop Chilstrom from even making his views known.