Author Topic: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat  (Read 7060 times)

Charles Austin

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2021, 11:32:17 AM »
Peter posts in a loquacious way saying that we can all be in this forum even if we disagree drastically, then suggest that in the civic realm, namely our political parties, some kind of lockstep unity is required. Yes, a pro-life Democrat will probably have their views ignored in the party. So what? Is that the only issue that matters?
I’m puzzled and wonder why supposedly decent Republicans put up with the obscene, adulterous, tax-dodging, buffoon who heads a company that is under multiple indictments, lies about his failed businesses, including a con-job “university,” is known to stiff “the little guy” who works for him, used the presidency to direct business to his hotels and resorts, let his top aides cozy up to Russians with money seeking influence and uses the death of Colin Powell as an opportunity to dis the noted General in a fundraising letter sent out just after Powell’s death.
But, By Gosh and By Golly! He is likely to appoint “pro-life” judges!
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2021, 11:42:55 AM »
Peter posts in a loquacious way saying that we can all be in this forum even if we disagree drastically, then suggest that in the civic realm, namely our political parties, some kind of lockstep unity is required. Yes, a pro-life Democrat will probably have their views ignored in the party. So what? Is that the only issue that matters?
I’m puzzled and wonder why supposedly decent Republicans put up with the obscene, adulterous, tax-dodging, buffoon who heads a company that is under multiple indictments, lies about his failed businesses, including a con-job “university,” is known to stiff “the little guy” who works for him, used the presidency to direct business to his hotels and resorts, let his top aides cozy up to Russians with money seeking influence and uses the death of Colin Powell as an opportunity to dis the noted General in a fundraising letter sent out just after Powell’s death.
But, By Gosh and By Golly! He is likely to appoint “pro-life” judges!

Are you equally puzzled why supposedly decent Democrats put up with the obscene, adulterous, tax-dodging (used underwear as charity?) buffoon who used the Oval Office to get sexual favors from young interns?  Who uses his former office to make millions (how much did the Clintons get on the Haiti rescue fund again?)?  Why don't you devote as much time and effort into criticizing him as you do President Trump?  Oh, THAT'S different -- because he is on your side, politically.

Mark Brown

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2021, 12:07:10 PM »
If we are going to use obscene buffoon correctly it would have to be applied to our new 4 star Admiral who cut his genitals off as part of some obscene public kink, yet he is the one we are supposed to trust to tell us correct medical information.

Dave Benke

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2021, 12:12:02 PM »
So a pro-choice Republican voter advances the pro-life cause in the left hand, political realm far more than a pro-life Democrat voter

I hear what you're saying, Peter.  The issue in an inter-Lutheran online forum is that people may also enter the forum who think very little of Donald Trump, and may believe that although they are pro-life, they are also pro life as it translates to pro immigration reform, pro universal health care, pro universal pre-kindergarten, anti-death penalty and other items that the Republican/Trump party pushes away from with great zeal.

The term you use in the quote above is kind of mysterious to me, because the pro-choice Republican voter is by definition in the left hand, political realm.  What other realm does that voter enter?
And God's realm of the left is indeed a mishmash.  Although you may opine that pro-life democrats can no longer remain democrats, there are pro-life democrats voting in elections as a way of exerting influence.  I'm equally sure there are immigration reform Republicans who desire a pathway to citizenship for all the migrants in our country including but not exclusive to DACA, as a way of exerting influence. 

At the end of the day, a society dominated by the edges of its cultural trends in the category of noise and funk still is made up mostly of people in and around the middle.

Dave Benke

Do you leave the right-hand kingdom when you enter the voting booth?

Short answer - in the most important way, yes.  God's Kingdom of the Left does not contain the Gospel. 

For example, was/is a vote for Joe Biden blasphemy?  If someone votes/voted for Joe Biden, should that person be excommunicated from the Church?  Have you told people from the pulpit or from inside the sanctuary that if they vote for Joe Biden they are blaspheming the living God?  That would be the full-out pastoral responsibility in one view of the Two Realms.  And many pastors in the Protestant tradition do so because of their view of God's Two Realms. 

Historically, Lutherans have not done so and have instead spoken, taught, discussed positions on issues and urged parishioners to know the issues and vote appropriately, but not gone so far as to dismiss anyone from the congregation who voted for X as opposed to Y.  Are there Biden voters in your congregation?  There are Trump voters in mine.

Dave Benke

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2021, 12:53:14 PM »
So a pro-choice Republican voter advances the pro-life cause in the left hand, political realm far more than a pro-life Democrat voter

I hear what you're saying, Peter.  The issue in an inter-Lutheran online forum is that people may also enter the forum who think very little of Donald Trump, and may believe that although they are pro-life, they are also pro life as it translates to pro immigration reform, pro universal health care, pro universal pre-kindergarten, anti-death penalty and other items that the Republican/Trump party pushes away from with great zeal.

The term you use in the quote above is kind of mysterious to me, because the pro-choice Republican voter is by definition in the left hand, political realm.  What other realm does that voter enter?
And God's realm of the left is indeed a mishmash.  Although you may opine that pro-life democrats can no longer remain democrats, there are pro-life democrats voting in elections as a way of exerting influence.  I'm equally sure there are immigration reform Republicans who desire a pathway to citizenship for all the migrants in our country including but not exclusive to DACA, as a way of exerting influence. 

At the end of the day, a society dominated by the edges of its cultural trends in the category of noise and funk still is made up mostly of people in and around the middle.

Dave Benke

Do you leave the right-hand kingdom when you enter the voting booth?

Short answer - in the most important way, yes.  God's Kingdom of the Left does not contain the Gospel. 

For example, was/is a vote for Joe Biden blasphemy?  If someone votes/voted for Joe Biden, should that person be excommunicated from the Church?  Have you told people from the pulpit or from inside the sanctuary that if they vote for Joe Biden they are blaspheming the living God?  That would be the full-out pastoral responsibility in one view of the Two Realms.  And many pastors in the Protestant tradition do so because of their view of God's Two Realms. 

Historically, Lutherans have not done so and have instead spoken, taught, discussed positions on issues and urged parishioners to know the issues and vote appropriately, but not gone so far as to dismiss anyone from the congregation who voted for X as opposed to Y.  Are there Biden voters in your congregation?  There are Trump voters in mine.

Dave Benke

Did/do you tell them that they supported an obscene buffoon?  From the pulpit or from inside the sanctuary?

Charles Austin

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2021, 12:59:35 PM »
Pastor Bohler persists:
Are you equally puzzled why supposedly decent Democrats put up with the obscene, adulterous, tax-dodging (used underwear as charity?) buffoon who used the Oval Office to get sexual favors from young interns?
Me:
Out of office, not running for anything now, paid the price of impeachment for his action.

Pastor Bohler:
Who uses his former office to make millions (how much did the Clintons get on the Haiti rescue fund again?)?
Me:
Not illegal and your assessment of a "Haiti rescue fund" needs attribution, not to mention the little matter of proof.

Pastor Bohler:
Why don't you devote as much time and effort into criticizing him as you do President Trump?  Oh, THAT'S different -- because he is on your side, politically.
Me:
See above. Out of office, not running for anything. And all alleged crimes and/or misdemeanors are not equal. Furthermore, if you are truly miffed and outraged by the actions of the Clintons, why are not not equally so about the actions of your guy, a man who is still running for office?
You giving the Ex a pass on all those things? Yes or no?
Oh, wait! I forgot. It doesn't matter because the Ex panders to the pro-life by playing around with court appointments.
Got any other issues, other than your hatred of the Clintons (out of office for many years now) and - I repeat - not running for anything?
And finally: I am no longer in the pulpit; and for 54 years of active, public ministry, which included preaching in many settings; I carefully avoided anything which could ever have been considered supporting or denouncing a candidate. Had I been in the pulpit in 2016, I believe I would have altered that position and told people that a vote for the now Ex (not Republicans, but the Ex) was a vote for evil and endangered our land and our constitution.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Dave Benke

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2021, 01:02:49 PM »
So a pro-choice Republican voter advances the pro-life cause in the left hand, political realm far more than a pro-life Democrat voter

I hear what you're saying, Peter.  The issue in an inter-Lutheran online forum is that people may also enter the forum who think very little of Donald Trump, and may believe that although they are pro-life, they are also pro life as it translates to pro immigration reform, pro universal health care, pro universal pre-kindergarten, anti-death penalty and other items that the Republican/Trump party pushes away from with great zeal.

The term you use in the quote above is kind of mysterious to me, because the pro-choice Republican voter is by definition in the left hand, political realm.  What other realm does that voter enter?
And God's realm of the left is indeed a mishmash.  Although you may opine that pro-life democrats can no longer remain democrats, there are pro-life democrats voting in elections as a way of exerting influence.  I'm equally sure there are immigration reform Republicans who desire a pathway to citizenship for all the migrants in our country including but not exclusive to DACA, as a way of exerting influence. 

At the end of the day, a society dominated by the edges of its cultural trends in the category of noise and funk still is made up mostly of people in and around the middle.

Dave Benke

Do you leave the right-hand kingdom when you enter the voting booth?

Short answer - in the most important way, yes.  God's Kingdom of the Left does not contain the Gospel. 

For example, was/is a vote for Joe Biden blasphemy?  If someone votes/voted for Joe Biden, should that person be excommunicated from the Church?  Have you told people from the pulpit or from inside the sanctuary that if they vote for Joe Biden they are blaspheming the living God?  That would be the full-out pastoral responsibility in one view of the Two Realms.  And many pastors in the Protestant tradition do so because of their view of God's Two Realms. 

Historically, Lutherans have not done so and have instead spoken, taught, discussed positions on issues and urged parishioners to know the issues and vote appropriately, but not gone so far as to dismiss anyone from the congregation who voted for X as opposed to Y.  Are there Biden voters in your congregation?  There are Trump voters in mine.

Dave Benke

Did/do you tell them that they supported an obscene buffoon?  From the pulpit or from inside the sanctuary?

I'm interested in your answers and position, SW.  Yours was the question about the right and left realms.  It seems to me you're leaning toward mixing the two.  That would be a big mistake.

Dave Benke

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2021, 01:28:55 PM »
Pastor Bohler persists:
Are you equally puzzled why supposedly decent Democrats put up with the obscene, adulterous, tax-dodging (used underwear as charity?) buffoon who used the Oval Office to get sexual favors from young interns?
Me:
Out of office, not running for anything now, paid the price of impeachment for his action....



Trump also is/has: a) out of office; b) not running for anything now; c) paid the price of impeachment.  Try again, Rev. Austin.

RDPreus

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2021, 01:31:10 PM »
Things like immigration law, universal healthcare, and universal pre-K are political issues on which Christians will disagree.  I believe a lax policy on illegal immigration, government controlled healthcare, and universal pre-K education are bad policy, that is, they do harm.  Since I believe the government should do no harm, I oppose such policies on moral grounds.  Rev. Benke and I share the same moral beliefs.  He, for moral reasons, favors what I, for moral reasons oppose.  This is a good argument for us preachers to leave such matters as immigration, government controlled health care, and universal pre-K out of our preaching.  But the deliberate killing of an unborn baby is a different matter.  This is why I don't believe that we should ever vote for any "pro-choice" candidate regardless of who else is on the ticket.  While I disagree with Rev. Benke on immigration, health care, pre-K education, and perhaps many other things, I would not attack his position on these issues as unchristian.  I would, however, argue that a pro-choice position on abortion is incompatible with the faith that we share.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2021, 01:33:49 PM »
So a pro-choice Republican voter advances the pro-life cause in the left hand, political realm far more than a pro-life Democrat voter

I hear what you're saying, Peter.  The issue in an inter-Lutheran online forum is that people may also enter the forum who think very little of Donald Trump, and may believe that although they are pro-life, they are also pro life as it translates to pro immigration reform, pro universal health care, pro universal pre-kindergarten, anti-death penalty and other items that the Republican/Trump party pushes away from with great zeal.

The term you use in the quote above is kind of mysterious to me, because the pro-choice Republican voter is by definition in the left hand, political realm.  What other realm does that voter enter?
And God's realm of the left is indeed a mishmash.  Although you may opine that pro-life democrats can no longer remain democrats, there are pro-life democrats voting in elections as a way of exerting influence.  I'm equally sure there are immigration reform Republicans who desire a pathway to citizenship for all the migrants in our country including but not exclusive to DACA, as a way of exerting influence. 

At the end of the day, a society dominated by the edges of its cultural trends in the category of noise and funk still is made up mostly of people in and around the middle.

Dave Benke

Do you leave the right-hand kingdom when you enter the voting booth?

Short answer - in the most important way, yes.  God's Kingdom of the Left does not contain the Gospel. 

For example, was/is a vote for Joe Biden blasphemy?  If someone votes/voted for Joe Biden, should that person be excommunicated from the Church?  Have you told people from the pulpit or from inside the sanctuary that if they vote for Joe Biden they are blaspheming the living God?  That would be the full-out pastoral responsibility in one view of the Two Realms.  And many pastors in the Protestant tradition do so because of their view of God's Two Realms. 

Historically, Lutherans have not done so and have instead spoken, taught, discussed positions on issues and urged parishioners to know the issues and vote appropriately, but not gone so far as to dismiss anyone from the congregation who voted for X as opposed to Y.  Are there Biden voters in your congregation?  There are Trump voters in mine.

Dave Benke

Did/do you tell them that they supported an obscene buffoon?  From the pulpit or from inside the sanctuary?

I'm interested in your answers and position, SW.  Yours was the question about the right and left realms.  It seems to me you're leaning toward mixing the two.  That would be a big mistake.

Dave Benke

And I am interested in your answers, Dr. Benke.  Yours was the statement that Trump was an Obscene Buffoon.  It seems to me that you are thereby leaning toward saying those who voted for him support obscenity and buffoonery.  That would be a mistake.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2021, 01:34:41 PM »
Things like immigration law, universal healthcare, and universal pre-K are political issues on which Christians will disagree.  I believe a lax policy on illegal immigration, government controlled healthcare, and universal pre-K education are bad policy, that is, they do harm.  Since I believe the government should do no harm, I oppose such policies on moral grounds.  Rev. Benke and I share the same moral beliefs.  He, for moral reasons, favors what I, for moral reasons oppose.  This is a good argument for us preachers to leave such matters as immigration, government controlled health care, and universal pre-K out of our preaching.  But the deliberate killing of an unborn baby is a different matter.  This is why I don't believe that we should ever vote for any "pro-choice" candidate regardless of who else is on the ticket.  While I disagree with Rev. Benke on immigration, health care, pre-K education, and perhaps many other things, I would not attack his position on these issues as unchristian.  I would, however, argue that a pro-choice position on abortion is incompatible with the faith that we share.

Ditto.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2021, 01:41:02 PM »
So a pro-choice Republican voter advances the pro-life cause in the left hand, political realm far more than a pro-life Democrat voter

I hear what you're saying, Peter.  The issue in an inter-Lutheran online forum is that people may also enter the forum who think very little of Donald Trump, and may believe that although they are pro-life, they are also pro life as it translates to pro immigration reform, pro universal health care, pro universal pre-kindergarten, anti-death penalty and other items that the Republican/Trump party pushes away from with great zeal.

The term you use in the quote above is kind of mysterious to me, because the pro-choice Republican voter is by definition in the left hand, political realm.  What other realm does that voter enter?
And God's realm of the left is indeed a mishmash.  Although you may opine that pro-life democrats can no longer remain democrats, there are pro-life democrats voting in elections as a way of exerting influence.  I'm equally sure there are immigration reform Republicans who desire a pathway to citizenship for all the migrants in our country including but not exclusive to DACA, as a way of exerting influence. 

At the end of the day, a society dominated by the edges of its cultural trends in the category of noise and funk still is made up mostly of people in and around the middle.

Dave Benke
I'm saying pro-choice people are happy to have pro-life Democrats vote for their candidates. And pro-life people are happy to have pro-choice Republicans vote for their candidates. It isn't the personality, deeply held beliefs, education, eloquence, etc. that ultimately matters about a congressman. What counts is his vote. That's it.

Take it to a different issue. Right now Sen. Manchin is balking about a bill nearly every other Democrat favors. If he votes with the Republicans with all kinds of reservations and misgivings about party loyalty, nobody cares; he voted with the Republicans. If he changes his mind and votes with the Democrats, again, with call kinds of reservations and misgivings, nobody cares. What matters is that he voted for the bill. The misgivings and reservations can be duly noted for the record and then flushed down the toilet. That is the nature of votes. The discussion and debate on the floor exists to changes minds and ultimately, perhaps, the vote count.

I made this point in an FL article a while back. In congress, you can only vote yea or nay. Shall x be legal or illegal? You can't put it to a vote like, "With what degree of angst shall we permit or do x?" The people with lots of enthusiasm and zeal for x and the people with all kinds of fears and anxieties about x while voting for x count exactly, interchangeably the same.

So, if I'm a big money donor to the GOP because I'm a conservative, I consider Manchin on my team right now even though he wears the other uniform. I might even send him money. Don't cave! And if I'm a hard core leftist, I'm all about pro-lifers who vote Democrat. They're on my team. Let them be (irrelevantly) pro-life. I'm not interested in their ideas, I'm interested in their votes.

On the matter of whether abortion should be legal, pro-life Democrats say it should be legal in the only way their voice counts, and pro-choice Republicans say it should be illegal with the only voice that counts. It is all about ranking the importance of issues and seeing things in context. The NYT would have called itself pro-American in the 1930's. That was delusional. They were, as we now know, "useful idiots" who served the Soviets' purposes.

I have all kinds of reasons to be pro-immigration, although I understand and sympathize with the objections. But nobody in the pro-immigration camp thinks of me as their ally. Why not? Because I vote for anti-immigration candidates pretty reliably. Immigration isn't high on my list of important issues. So if pro-immigration is the most important issue to you, I cannot blame you for considering me your political enemy no matter how much I might personally see things your way on that one issue.

I think it is disingenuous to be pro-life but to weigh it against other considerations. Pro-life on the matter of abortion means thinking abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being. There really is no other plausible, non-science-fiction reason to be against abortion. It would be obscene and buffoonish in the extreme to compare the importance of that to the need for universal pre-k education or immigration reform. Even making the comparison is silly. It is like being an abolitionist who votes against Lincoln because of differences on trade policy and tariffs; you might be right about tariffs, but you are a fool if you think you are really an abolitionist in any meaningful sense. It is an out of order approach to what it central, crucial, and non-negotiable and what is peripheral, debatable, or less important. 
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 01:43:07 PM by peter_speckhard »

Dave Benke

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2021, 02:19:06 PM »
I think it is disingenuous to be pro-life but to weigh it against other considerations. Pro-life on the matter of abortion means thinking abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being. There really is no other plausible, non-science-fiction reason to be against abortion. It would be obscene and buffoonish in the extreme to compare the importance of that to the need for universal pre-k education or immigration reform. Even making the comparison is silly. It is like being an abolitionist who votes against Lincoln because of differences on trade policy and tariffs; you might be right about tariffs, but you are a fool if you think you are really an abolitionist in any meaningful sense. It is an out of order approach to what it central, crucial, and non-negotiable and what is peripheral, debatable, or less important.

Thanks, Peter, for taking the time to write in response.  You're welcome to the opinion you've presented in the snippet of your response I've quoted.  And I think it's important that you articulate it in a public forum.  My experience is that many people hold a variety of opinions as important and internally rank them.  Then, in God's realm of the left, they make their choices on candidates based on their evaluation.  I'm one of those people.  The top of my list is pro-life.  But there are many other issues of importance to me as well.  You can state "it is an out of order approach" and peripheralize all issues but the one issue.   You can eliminate the option of having other considerations as "disingenuous" from your perspective. 

Many Christian people will continue to make their decisions however on a variety of issues of importance to them based on the issues and the quality of the leaders they're voting for or against. 

Dave Benke

peter_speckhard

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2021, 02:46:14 PM »
I think it is disingenuous to be pro-life but to weigh it against other considerations. Pro-life on the matter of abortion means thinking abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being. There really is no other plausible, non-science-fiction reason to be against abortion. It would be obscene and buffoonish in the extreme to compare the importance of that to the need for universal pre-k education or immigration reform. Even making the comparison is silly. It is like being an abolitionist who votes against Lincoln because of differences on trade policy and tariffs; you might be right about tariffs, but you are a fool if you think you are really an abolitionist in any meaningful sense. It is an out of order approach to what it central, crucial, and non-negotiable and what is peripheral, debatable, or less important.

Thanks, Peter, for taking the time to write in response.  You're welcome to the opinion you've presented in the snippet of your response I've quoted.  And I think it's important that you articulate it in a public forum.  My experience is that many people hold a variety of opinions as important and internally rank them.  Then, in God's realm of the left, they make their choices on candidates based on their evaluation.  I'm one of those people.  The top of my list is pro-life.  But there are many other issues of importance to me as well.  You can state "it is an out of order approach" and peripheralize all issues but the one issue.   You can eliminate the option of having other considerations as "disingenuous" from your perspective. 

Many Christian people will continue to make their decisions however on a variety of issues of importance to them based on the issues and the quality of the leaders they're voting for or against. 

Dave Benke
I do the same as you; consider many issue to be important, rank them, and then choose candidates who will advance those issues. Every abortion is literally a matter of life or death for an innocent person. No amount of universal pre-k and affordable housing programs can outweigh the importance of that. In my case, I'm for lower taxes and school choice; those issues matter to me. But they aren't so fundamental as life or death. Again, the only real comparison to abortion in American legal history is the pro-choice position on slavery that dehumanized some people out of convenience to others. It would be disingenuous to claim to be an abolitionist Democrat in 1860, and it is disingenuous to claim to be a pro-life Democrat in 2021.

As for the standard "pro life doesn't just mean abortion" shtick-- true, but beside the point. There are other kinds of slavery, too, besides the race-based slavery of the old South-- wage slavery, slavery to addiction, and so forth. But it would be pure obfuscation to claim to be anti-slavery in a political discussion in 1860 in a way that broadens the definition of slavery so as to consider slavers to the ranks of the anti-slavery cause just because they're for other kinds of liberation from other kinds of slavery. And it obfuscation and nothing else to claim to be part of the pro-life cause while voting for Democrats because of their position on the death penalty and socialized medical care. As Brian so often points out, hunger is a real and important thing, but you don't throw a sandwich to a drowning man. First things first. First, recognize the sanctity of life and defend it from wanton, deliberate destruction. Then, and only then, be concerned with whether that life can identify its shapes and colors before kindergarten.

     

Charles Austin

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2021, 02:56:50 PM »
Peter:
Every abortion is literally a matter of life or death for an innocent person.
Me:
And there is the problem again. The world, or at least a large segment of it, does not believe that the minute a sperm hits an egg you have an innocent person. Not gonna argue that here, just want to note that in decades of discussions, you have not convincingly made your case for that.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.