Author Topic: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat  (Read 5174 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #135 on: October 27, 2021, 03:05:30 AM »
And I’m saying that Brian’s grasp of biology is no so much in question as his grasp of the nature and purpose of language. He is like a blind man analyzing paintings by running chemical tests on the pigment— a true expert on paint who knows nothing of whatever painting he is talking about. Yes, the word “life” has many applications and facets. But that doesn’t all of them are valid interpretations of what was written.

It is a good cautionary example. When Brian opines about this or that interpretation of a Bible verse and breaks out his lexicons and word counts, remember that he thinks his toe being cut off is a relevant example in a discussion of abortion because both topics involve the word “life”.


You said that the discussion was about "life". That's what I'm discussing. Abortion is taking away a life, but so does butchering livestock; so does amputating a limb (usually done in order to save the person's life, but the life in the limb dies).

Do you know anyone that’s lost a child?  Did you tell them it was like losing a toe?


Yes, I've known parents who have lost children? Even parents when one child caused an accident that killed a sibling. No, it's not like losing a toe.


The topic was "life". What makes something alive? For about the first 20 weeks of a fetus, it is alive because it is attached to the mother; in a similar way my little toe is alive because it is attached to the rest of me. If the fertilized egg (yes, it is living,) but if it does not attach to the mother, it will die. If it is disconnected from the mother through natural or artificial means, it will die. For those 20 weeks, it cannot sustain life for itself separated from the mother.

You're smarter than this, which is why most of us consider you a sophist.

At some point in time, does your toe become capable of sustaining life as a separate, distinct and whole organism?

At about 20 weeks, does the "fetus" change into something else substantively, or is it the same organism it was for approximately the first 20 weeks?

What you are advocating is killing people based on their age.  You couch it as if it is dependency that is at issue, but the truth is if you remove the "fetus" from its mother at 21 weeks, and do nothing else, the "fetus" will die.  So it isn't dependency that is at issue.  You've simply adopted that arbitrary standard because the Supreme Court was damn fool enough to endorse it and it's what allows you to continue to advocate for the legality of child killing.


Where have I said anything about killing the life growing in the mother? The discussion is life. I believe that from the beginning of the abortion discussions and decisions, there was a distinction between viable and non-viable. There are at least these two different types of lives of the fetus. "Viability" and "viable" are words used in our Social Statement on Abortion. It defines it: The fetus becomes viable when it is capable of surviving disconnected from the placenta.

They are both used in a summary statement of our church's position:

The position of this church is that, in cases where the life of the mother is threatened, where pregnancy results from rape or incest, or where the embryo or fetus has lethal abnormalities incompatible with life, abortion prior to viability should not be prohibited by law or by lack of public funding of abortions for low income women. On the other hand, this church supports legislation that prohibits abortions that are performed after the fetus is determined to be viable, except when the mother’s life is threatened or when lethal abnormalities indicate the prospective newborn will die very soon.


"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]

David Garner

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #136 on: October 27, 2021, 06:56:07 AM »
So you say nothing of “killing the life growing in the mother.”

It’s just that you use “viability” (a moving standard and one that makes no logical sense) to set the line for when abortion is allowed.

What does abortion do again?

You’re smarter than this. And your bigger problem is this — we are too.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

D. Engebretson

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #137 on: October 27, 2021, 09:26:41 AM »
Where have I said anything about killing the life growing in the mother? The discussion is life. I believe that from the beginning of the abortion discussions and decisions, there was a distinction between viable and non-viable. There are at least these two different types of lives of the fetus. "Viability" and "viable" are words used in our Social Statement on Abortion. It defines it: The fetus becomes viable when it is capable of surviving disconnected from the placenta.

They are both used in a summary statement of our church's position:

The position of this church is that, in cases where the life of the mother is threatened, where pregnancy results from rape or incest, or where the embryo or fetus has lethal abnormalities incompatible with life, abortion prior to viability should not be prohibited by law or by lack of public funding of abortions for low income women. On the other hand, this church supports legislation that prohibits abortions that are performed after the fetus is determined to be viable, except when the mother’s life is threatened or when lethal abnormalities indicate the prospective newborn will die very soon.

I have always thought that such 'definitions' of 'viable' life have broader ramifications than just preborn life.  The terminations of a life can happen if it comes about from a violent, sinful act.  The termination of a life can happen if it has abnormalities that may or may not lead to death.  And adding to the what was stated above, life can be defined as that which is not dependent on anything or anyone else. 

How does any of that differ essentially from terminating a life on the other end of the age spectrum, or anywhere in between?  For some it doesn't.  Assisted a suicide, made so popular by the late Dr. Jack Kavorkian, helped people take their own lives even if they were suffering from non-lethal problems.  Life no longer had 'viability' for the person if there was pain or disability, etc. What about the practices of active euthanasia in some countries?  "Persistent vegetative state" is considered a legitimate reason to terminate a life.  It is no longer viable.  But that line of viability is moveable.  How far can it move before it  becomes murder?
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peter_speckhard

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #138 on: October 27, 2021, 09:41:54 AM »
Words have a range of meanings and applications. Everyone knows that and manages to communicate without confusion going about their daily lives. If I ask my son to set this on the table and he takes it over to the couch and puts on a book open to the table of contents, I know he is being a smart aleck no matter much he protests that his action was well within the acceptable definitions of the words in my instructions. When it is my son, I can tell him to shape up. When it is a grown man I’ve never met who consistently does the same thing with words in this forum, I can ignore him, refute him, or play his stupid games for a while in order to demonstrate the absurdity of his approach, but those are about the only options.

When the topic is reflections of a pro-life Democrat, nobody is confused as to what the word “life” refers to. Not even Brian. The moronic diversions into severed toes, meat-eating, etc. demonstrates either his inability to understand what is easily understood or his willingness to obfuscate to avoid actual discussion.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2021, 09:11:42 AM by peter_speckhard »

Matt Hummel

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #139 on: October 27, 2021, 10:37:29 AM »
And I’m saying that Brian’s grasp of biology is no so much in question as his grasp of the nature and purpose of language. He is like a blind man analyzing paintings by running chemical tests on the pigment— a true expert on paint who knows nothing of whatever painting he is talking about. Yes, the word “life” has many applications and facets. But that doesn’t all of them are valid interpretations of what was written.

It is a good cautionary example. When Brian opines about this or that interpretation of a Bible verse and breaks out his lexicons and word counts, remember that he thinks his toe being cut off is a relevant example in a discussion of abortion because both topics involve the word “life”.


You said that the discussion was about "life". That's what I'm discussing. Abortion is taking away a life, but so does butchering livestock; so does amputating a limb (usually done in order to save the person's life, but the life in the limb dies).

Do you know anyone that’s lost a child?  Did you tell them it was like losing a toe?


Yes, I've known parents who have lost children? Even parents when one child caused an accident that killed a sibling. No, it's not like losing a toe.


The topic was "life". What makes something alive? For about the first 20 weeks of a fetus, it is alive because it is attached to the mother; in a similar way my little toe is alive because it is attached to the rest of me. If the fertilized egg (yes, it is living,) but if it does not attach to the mother, it will die. If it is disconnected from the mother through natural or artificial means, it will die. For those 20 weeks, it cannot sustain life for itself separated from the mother.

You're smarter than this, which is why most of us consider you a sophist.

At some point in time, does your toe become capable of sustaining life as a separate, distinct and whole organism?

At about 20 weeks, does the "fetus" change into something else substantively, or is it the same organism it was for approximately the first 20 weeks?

What you are advocating is killing people based on their age.  You couch it as if it is dependency that is at issue, but the truth is if you remove the "fetus" from its mother at 21 weeks, and do nothing else, the "fetus" will die.  So it isn't dependency that is at issue.  You've simply adopted that arbitrary standard because the Supreme Court was damn fool enough to endorse it and it's what allows you to continue to advocate for the legality of child killing.


Where have I said anything about killing the life growing in the mother? The discussion is life. I believe that from the beginning of the abortion discussions and decisions, there was a distinction between viable and non-viable. There are at least these two different types of lives of the fetus. "Viability" and "viable" are words used in our Social Statement on Abortion. It defines it: The fetus becomes viable when it is capable of surviving disconnected from the placenta.

They are both used in a summary statement of our church's position:

The position of this church is that, in cases where the life of the mother is threatened, where pregnancy results from rape or incest, or where the embryo or fetus has lethal abnormalities incompatible with life, abortion prior to viability should not be prohibited by law or by lack of public funding of abortions for low income women. On the other hand, this church supports legislation that prohibits abortions that are performed after the fetus is determined to be viable, except when the mother’s life is threatened or when lethal abnormalities indicate the prospective newborn will die very soon.

The ELCA is condemned by its own stance. If a man were convicted of a series of crimes that included a rape leading to impregnating, and found guilty and sentenced to death, the ELCA would bring its resources to bear to fight against the execution of that criminal. But it has no problem whatsoever in killing a child, one of whose parents is a criminal. That is disgustingly hypocritical.
Matt Hummel


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― J.R.R. Tolkien

Charles Austin

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #140 on: October 27, 2021, 10:49:11 AM »
Father Hummel:
with rather little respect, I suggest that your comments are extremely destructive of our effort to find some kind of inter-Lutheran association here. You left the ELCA and now you are elsewhere. Coming back here to vent your resentment and bile does not help us and I doubt you’re convincing anybody.
Do you enjoy pouring burning oil on our already troubled times?
Retired ELCA Pastor. And some other things.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #141 on: October 27, 2021, 12:15:39 PM »
So you say nothing of “killing the life growing in the mother.”

It’s just that you use “viability” (a moving standard and one that makes no logical sense) to set the line for when abortion is allowed.

What does abortion do again?

You’re smarter than this. And your bigger problem is this — we are too.


The recent thread is about "life," not about abortion. Abortion kills a living fetus. Happy now?


A poll I just read indicated that a majority of Americas are in the messy middle of this debate. As I recall the number 50% thought that abortions should be legal, but limited. Fewer thought they should all be illegal or open to anyone who wanted.


I've stated and copied our church's position that an abortion may be a responsible choice for three reasons:
1. to save the life of the mother
2. when the mother had not choice in the pregnancy, i.e., through rape or incest
3. a fetal abnormality that will result in severe suffering and very early death


Do you disagree that an abortion may be a responsible choice in these circumstances?
"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: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #142 on: October 27, 2021, 12:22:40 PM »
Words have a range of meanings and applications. Everyone knows that and manages to communicate without confusion going about their daily lives. If I ask my son to set this on the table and he takes it over to the couch and puts on a book open to the table of contents, I know he is being a smart aleck no matter much he protests that his action was well within the acceptable interrogations of the words in my instructions. When it is my son, I can tell him to shape up. When it is a grown man I’ve never met who consistently does the same thing with words in this forum, I can ignore him, refute him, or play his stupid games for a while in order to demonstrate the absurdity of his approach, but those are about the only options.

When the topic is reflections of a pro-life Democrat, nobody is confused as to what the word “life” refers to. Not even Brian. The moronic diversions into severed toes, meat-eating, etc. demonstrates either his inability to understand what is easily understood or his willingness to obfuscate to avoid actual discussion.


Yes, there is a lot of confusion about what "life" means in the phrase "pro-life." For many, it seems to mean "pro-birth." They want legislation that forces a pregnant woman to give birth to the child within her. Such "pro-lifers" are not concerned about legislations that would help care for the life of that child after it is born. Some even work against legislation that would provide free child-care, parental leaves, adequate pay (especially for women), etc.


It's also confusing because seldom do "pro-life" folks talk about the life of the mother-to-be. Some present her as a mindless slut who shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place and now she is using "murdering" her child as a method of birth control.


It's clear in the discussions that you don't fall into such a narrow definition of "pro-birth/life" category. You are concerned about the life of the mother and her child. I don't hear that from all pro-lifers.
"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]

peter_speckhard

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #143 on: October 27, 2021, 12:29:28 PM »
Words have a range of meanings and applications. Everyone knows that and manages to communicate without confusion going about their daily lives. If I ask my son to set this on the table and he takes it over to the couch and puts on a book open to the table of contents, I know he is being a smart aleck no matter much he protests that his action was well within the acceptable interrogations of the words in my instructions. When it is my son, I can tell him to shape up. When it is a grown man I’ve never met who consistently does the same thing with words in this forum, I can ignore him, refute him, or play his stupid games for a while in order to demonstrate the absurdity of his approach, but those are about the only options.

When the topic is reflections of a pro-life Democrat, nobody is confused as to what the word “life” refers to. Not even Brian. The moronic diversions into severed toes, meat-eating, etc. demonstrates either his inability to understand what is easily understood or his willingness to obfuscate to avoid actual discussion.


Yes, there is a lot of confusion about what "life" means in the phrase "pro-life." For many, it seems to mean "pro-birth." They want legislation that forces a pregnant woman to give birth to the child within her. Such "pro-lifers" are not concerned about legislations that would help care for the life of that child after it is born. Some even work against legislation that would provide free child-care, parental leaves, adequate pay (especially for women), etc.


It's also confusing because seldom do "pro-life" folks talk about the life of the mother-to-be. Some present her as a mindless slut who shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place and now she is using "murdering" her child as a method of birth control.


It's clear in the discussions that you don't fall into such a narrow definition of "pro-birth/life" category. You are concerned about the life of the mother and her child. I don't hear that from all pro-lifers.
So you've heard that there exist pro-lifers not on this forum who are mean and don't care about women. Whether that is true or not, it is irrelevant to the discussion. The fact is you just started playing around with the the word "life" in utterly nonsensical ways.

Pastor Ken Kimball

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #144 on: October 27, 2021, 01:00:49 PM »
Father Hummel:
with rather little respect, I suggest that your comments are extremely destructive of our effort to find some kind of inter-Lutheran association here. You left the ELCA and now you are elsewhere. Coming back here to vent your resentment and bile does not help us and I doubt you’re convincing anybody.
Do you enjoy pouring burning oil on our already troubled times?
Trying to run off Father Hummel, Pastor Austin?  Similar to your responses to our Orthodox brethren posting here.   So much for your "ecumenism."   As far as inter-Lutheran, you have followed the same MO towards NALC and LCMC posters.  Similarly towards conservative LCMS folks, including your regular antagonism toward Pastor Speckhard and your thinly veiled (well okay actually pretty open) calls for his removal as moderator.  I suspect I could find (if I wished to waste my time) similar sentiments by you towards Pastor Culler and the Lutheran body to which he belongs. And you haven't been very welcoming to those ELCA pastors and posters of a more traditional or conservative bent, e.g. Pastor Charlton.  It seems to me that you narrowly define "inter-Lutheran" by the main-stream of the shrinking and progressively dominated ELCA.  You do realize there are already such forums for the ELCA on facebook and other places.  If you don't you should check them out--seems they should be more amenable to the positions you assert but don't want to have to defend against those who hold different positions from yourself.  Yes I know there's a thread for this but you keep trying to drive off others (and try to undermine Pastor Speckhard and influence ALPB leadership to remove him as moderator) across a variety of threads.  With Pastor Preuss, though perhaps not as often, I appreciate at least some of your posts, respecting them even if disagreeing, when you actually attempt to make substantive points.  Those posts are in sharp contrast to posts like this response to Father Hummel where you simply resort to bullying and try to drive others off this Forum. 

Matt Hummel

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #145 on: October 27, 2021, 08:31:02 PM »
So you say nothing of “killing the life growing in the mother.”

It’s just that you use “viability” (a moving standard and one that makes no logical sense) to set the line for when abortion is allowed.

What does abortion do again?

You’re smarter than this. And your bigger problem is this — we are too.


The recent thread is about "life," not about abortion. Abortion kills a living fetus. Happy now?


A poll I just read indicated that a majority of Americas are in the messy middle of this debate. As I recall the number 50% thought that abortions should be legal, but limited. Fewer thought they should all be illegal or open to anyone who wanted.


I've stated and copied our church's position that an abortion may be a responsible choice for three reasons:
1. to save the life of the mother
2. when the mother had not choice in the pregnancy, i.e., through rape or incest
3. a fetal abnormality that will result in severe suffering and very early death


Do you disagree that an abortion may be a responsible choice in these circumstances?

1) I have seen sloppy medicine because the OBs can always kill the kid, instead of dealing with the mother’s health issue, so… No

2) I was unaware that we got to kill the children of criminals for the crime/sin of being the children of criminals, so… No

3) I have experienced counseling a family towards Life when the doctors said “horrible defect/early death/all that garbage you spewed. They chose life. Baby’s Apgars were like 8.5 and 9.5. Doctors response? “Oops. We were wrong.” If the ELCA opposes the death penalty because innocent people may be killed, why would anyone support this ? So,… No.

There was a time when pretty much all Americans thought it was OK to own [terrible racial epithet]s as property. Do you REALLY want to argue for morality by majority?
Matt Hummel


“The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Matt Hummel

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Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« Reply #146 on: October 27, 2021, 08:44:54 PM »
Father Hummel:
with rather little respect, I suggest that your comments are extremely destructive of our effort to find some kind of inter-Lutheran association here. You left the ELCA and now you are elsewhere. Coming back here to vent your resentment and bile does not help us and I doubt you’re convincing anybody.
Do you enjoy pouring burning oil on our already troubled times?
Trying to run off Father Hummel, Pastor Austin?  Similar to your responses to our Orthodox brethren posting here.   So much for your "ecumenism."   As far as inter-Lutheran, you have followed the same MO towards NALC and LCMC posters.  Similarly towards conservative LCMS folks, including your regular antagonism toward Pastor Speckhard and your thinly veiled (well okay actually pretty open) calls for his removal as moderator.  I suspect I could find (if I wished to waste my time) similar sentiments by you towards Pastor Culler and the Lutheran body to which he belongs. And you haven't been very welcoming to those ELCA pastors and posters of a more traditional or conservative bent, e.g. Pastor Charlton.  It seems to me that you narrowly define "inter-Lutheran" by the main-stream of the shrinking and progressively dominated ELCA.  You do realize there are already such forums for the ELCA on facebook and other places.  If you don't you should check them out--seems they should be more amenable to the positions you assert but don't want to have to defend against those who hold different positions from yourself.  Yes I know there's a thread for this but you keep trying to drive off others (and try to undermine Pastor Speckhard and influence ALPB leadership to remove him as moderator) across a variety of threads.  With Pastor Preuss, though perhaps not as often, I appreciate at least some of your posts, respecting them even if disagreeing, when you actually attempt to make substantive points.  Those posts are in sharp contrast to posts like this response to Father Hummel where you simply resort to bullying and try to drive others off this Forum.

Pastor Kimball,

I thank you for coming to my defense. But the thing about bullies is that they actually have to be strong and scary and be able to threaten effectively. Mr. Austin’s fumings are, in fact, a source of amusement to me and to others. I always know when I have made a point when he refuses to engage the point and show me where I am wrong, and instead basically tells me I’m ugly and my mommy dresses me funny and no one wants me in the schoolyard.

In what way is the ELCA’s stance on capital punishment (with which, as a Catholic, I agree) NOT hypocritical when coupled with the support of the murder of a child conceived as part of a crime that earned the death sentence?

The issue is that he and Brian, and others of their ilk, and their use of fetus, as if it made a metaphysical difference. To deny the full humanity of an unborn child
1) denies basic science.
2) veers towards serious Christological error.

So, reason and faith lead me to by staunchly pro-life
Matt Hummel


“The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien