Obama, Bill Ayres, Praying for Authorities and Luther's Explanation of the 8th

Started by anonymous, November 14, 2008, 10:22:20 AM

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pterandon

Quote from: Pr. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on November 17, 2008, 03:36:10 AMHmm.  I'm trying to imagine someone performing/committing malnutrition or homelessness.

It is probably very hard to imagine, in this generation,  "biblical conservatives" preaching against performing malnutrition or committing homelessness.   If you go back a little bit further, you might see it in The Fundamentals,  in JPII's encyclicals, Walther's Socialism and Communism,   Law and Gospel,  ML King's writings, Welsey's writings, in Luther's tracts, in Bunyan's The Life and Death of Mr. Badman, in Spurgeon, Chesterton, and even Dickens. And of course, Romero. 

They griped about things like watering railroad stocks and turning loose workers who had been injured in your employ. Today, stiff-necked parishioners would be forming groups to reform the church and excise these social agendas from the church.

Quote from: Gary Schnitkey on November 16, 2008, 12:39:47 PMIf you can make an argument for allowing unlimited abortion from a Christian perspective, I would like to hear it (I mean that sincerely.) 

If you are not in favor of criminalizing birth control, you are in favor of unlimited abortion-- monthly, as it were..  You can of course draw a line in a sand where you'd start criminalizing and come up with all sorts of arguments for getting upset with the people who are two inches to the left of your own position.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 17, 2008, 09:52:43 AM
Whatever justification there might be for being pro-choice on abortion ought logically to apply to being pro-choice on child rape and incest. Yet I never hear anyone say he's personally opposed to incest and wouldn't commit it but also wouldn't want to force his religiously based morality on everyone else via the government. No child chooses to be a victim of abortion or incest, and therefore the "pro-choice" take on the issue simply fails to take into account half the picture.
I'll point out that, as far as I have seen, none of our rape laws are based on biblical passages. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't have laws against rape. In line with another discussion, in terms if determining laws of the land, we are to use our best reason and experience and logic and wisdom to create the most just society we can. We do not rely on divine revelation for all the laws that we need for a peaceful, orderly society.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: pterandon on November 17, 2008, 11:27:13 AM
If you are not in favor of criminalizing birth control, you are in favor of unlimited abortion-- monthly, as it were..  You can of course draw a line in a sand where you'd start criminalizing and come up with all sorts of arguments for getting upset with the people who are two inches to the left of your own position.
If we conclude, as some biblical passages state, that our lives began before the foundation of the world, couldn't we conclude that preventing a pregnancy may be thwarting a life that God had chosen? Then we might sound more like the Mormons -- that we need to produce more children for the lives that God has planned / chosen from the beginning of time.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

peter_speckhard

Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 10:34:17 AM
Peter,

Just to clarify your own position, if the mother is dying, are you opposed to abortion even if an abortion  would save her life? ? I think titles like "pro-life" and "pro-choice" cover a broad range of understandings that are painted with a very broad brush.

Jeff Ruby


Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 17, 2008, 09:52:43 AM
Whatever justification there might be for being pro-choice on abortion ought logically to apply to being pro-choice on child rape and incest. Yet I never hear anyone say he's personally opposed to incest and wouldn't commit it but also wouldn't want to force his religiously based morality on everyone else via the government. No child chooses to be a victim of abortion or incest, and therefore the "pro-choice" take on the issue simply fails to take into account half the picture.

As for the topic of this thread, we pray for PE Obama in very general terms in the service, of course, usually they our leaders be given the wisdom and courage to lead as God would have them lead. 
Actually, I think the problem is that if one does not paint with a fine, three-haired brush that accounts for every conceivable circumstance people feel they can fall back on the broad brush policy, as though if one could concoct a scenario in which an abortion would be the best option, then abortion ought to be legal. We have over a million abortions a year, and yet the tiny, tiny statistically insignificant fraction of them that might (might!) be justified end up justifying all of them. The fact is I can think of circumstances in which bank robbery might be justified; I still think it ought to be illegal. Arguments as to valid exceptions in the case of outlawing abortion are jumping the gun. As long as the right to life is denied to a class of people, the fight is to recognize that right as such, not find every wrinkle in which such a right might be forfeit by other circumstances.

Pro-life and pro-choice are perfectly fine brushes to paint this picture-- if you think abortion should be legal, you are pro-choice. If you think abortion should be illegal, you are pro-life. Obviously as with any legal matter, there will be all kinds of fine print, but that isn't the issue, as though the battle over abolition needed to resolve, before slavery could be outlawed in general, the issue of what would happen to a slave who gave himself, when previously free, as payment of a friend's debt? Since it was voluntary and he received renumeration which he passed on to his friend in form of cancelled debt, his servitude could be considered both voluntary and for pay despite his slave status, but if he were freed, the "owner" could then claim...blah blah blah." We'll work out the legal technicalities later of very specific and rare situations as need be; the main thing is that slavery be illegal. Period. And everyone can see as plain as day that arguments against abolition based on these sorts of rare, exceptional cases are really just that; arguments against abolition to be rejected as such until they can be taken up in a post-abolition context. The same goes for abortion. The fact of the matter is that abortion vitually never happens to save the mother's life, though there is an element of risk in every pregnancy which is inherent in the normal state of being human and mortal. If we can get everybody to agree that human life begins at conception and is endowed by its creator with a right to life, then I'll be happy to look at mitigating circumstances. Until we have such agreement, looking at mitigating circumstances misses the point.

To illustrate why pro-life and pro-choice are actually good brushes, think of a couple who are considering whether to move to a new house or stay where they are. They consider the new house. The husband wants to buy it. The wife doesn't. They both know that buying a house involves piles of paperwork and legal checkoffs, and that if they buy the house there'll still be all kinds of issues like which light fixtures come with it, but it would be pointless for the couple to sit there and talk about the light fixtures (valid a point as it may be should they decided to buy the house) until they agree in general that they do or do not want to buy this house. First you make the general commitment, then you make all the technical and specific commitments. The husband is "pro-buying-the-new-house" and the wife is "pro- staying-in-in-the-old-house" and that is the disagreement to be worked out; they both know there is more to it than that, but they both, when they are being reasonable, also know that the basic disagreement is the one that matters and that those labels would be accurate.

Similarly, I think it is pointless to argue various exceptions to a law making abortion illegal until the general principle is agreed upon.

Lutheran_Lay_Leader

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 17, 2008, 11:33:17 AM
If we conclude, as some biblical passages state, that our lives began before the foundation of the world, couldn't we conclude that preventing a pregnancy may be thwarting a life that God had chosen? Then we might sound more like the Mormons -- that we need to produce more children for the lives that God has planned / chosen from the beginning of time.

If one can accept the premise that moment of earthly death is when the soul leaves the corruptible earthly body and moves to the new, resurrected body, one can make a case that earthly human life begins at the moment when the soul takes up residence in the earthly body. I'm aware of no scriptural references to whether that happens at the moment of conception, at the time of "quickening", when the baby first "leaps in the womb", or at the moment of birth. But then, my lack of awareness could only be a reference to my lack of in-depth Biblical training.

At what point of fetal development does Scripture say that the soul enters into the body?


peter_speckhard

The Bible says that embryos have souls in the same verse where it says that thirteen-year-olds have souls. 

jrubyaz

Peter,

As stated before, I don't believe in abortion under any circumstances except if the mother is dying. I do think there are situations in which the life  of the mother does play a role. For example, if my wife had been pregnant and it meant her dying as well the baby or having an abortion I would have saved her life and told the doctor to do that, as much as I would have prayerfully regretted it. And I do think God would have forgiven both of us.

That would not make me "pro-choice" by any stretch...it makes me a sinful human being who was placed in a very  difficult situation.

And let me take this one step further...it came up earlier, if Roe V Wade was outlawed and this left to states, would we brand the women a felon  and send her to jail ?

Jeff Ruby


Peter:
Pro-life and pro-choice are perfectly fine brushes to paint this picture-- if you think abortion should be legal, you are pro-choice.

peter_speckhard

Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 01:04:48 PM
Peter,

As stated before, I don't believe in abortion under any circumstances except if the mother is dying. I do think there are situations in which the life  of the mother does play a role. For example, if my wife had been pregnant and it meant her dying as well the baby or having an abortion I would have saved her life and told the doctor to do that, as much as I would have prayerfully regretted it. And I do think God would have forgiven both of us.

That would not make me "pro-choice" by any stretch...it makes me a sinful human being who was placed in a very  difficult situation.

And let me take this one step further...it came up earlier, if Roe V Wade was outlawed and this left to states, would we brand the women a felon  and send her to jail ?

Jeff Ruby


Peter:
Pro-life and pro-choice are perfectly fine brushes to paint this picture-- if you think abortion should be legal, you are pro-choice.

Jeff, I can imagine the same scenario, but it falls in the same category as what would I do if my children were starving and stealing bread was the only way to feed them. I would steal the bread. I also think it should be illegal to steal bread. As Scott noted upstream, there are very rare circumstances in which abortion might be justified, but then the whole point is that the fetus is being treated as a life being weighed against another life; a pro-life stand acknowledges both lives. The law ought to have a functional definition of person that is true, nor arbitrary. As I have said here before (and in Touchstone and at a LFL national convention), it is no religious intrusion into the domain of the state to insist that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people should know what a person is. There is no logically coherent or scientifically sustainable definition of human life that doesn't include the fact that it begins at conception.

As for what to do with people who have had abortions, that is a question on par with who will work the farms if the slaves are freed? Good question, but not one that bears on the issue of whether slavery ought to be illegal.

jrubyaz


I don't disagree with what you have said...however, in the scenario described, that does not make me "pro-choice" by facing that circumstance or making that choice.

Under your definition, it does.  However, one could certainly say that it is morally wrong, and still make the choice, much as Bonhoeffer chose to kill Hitler in the officer's plot, and knowing it could put his salvation on the line.

So the brush stroke is not as broad as you may like to think it is.

Jeff Ruby       


Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 17, 2008, 01:23:57 PM
Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 01:04:48 PM
Peter,

As stated before, I don't believe in abortion under any circumstances except if the mother is dying. I do think there are situations in which the life  of the mother does play a role. For example, if my wife had been pregnant and it meant her dying as well the baby or having an abortion I would have saved her life and told the doctor to do that, as much as I would have prayerfully regretted it. And I do think God would have forgiven both of us.

That would not make me "pro-choice" by any stretch...it makes me a sinful human being who was placed in a very  difficult situation.

And let me take this one step further...it came up earlier, if Roe V Wade was outlawed and this left to states, would we brand the women a felon  and send her to jail ?

Jeff Ruby


Peter:
Pro-life and pro-choice are perfectly fine brushes to paint this picture-- if you think abortion should be legal, you are pro-choice.

Jeff, I can imagine the same scenario, but it falls in the same category as what would I do if my children were starving and stealing bread was the only way to feed them. I would steal the bread. I also think it should be illegal to steal bread. As Scott noted upstream, there are very rare circumstances in which abortion might be justified, but then the whole point is that the fetus is being treated as a life being weighed against another life; a pro-life stand acknowledges both lives. The law ought to have a functional definition of person that is true, nor arbitrary. As I have said here before (and in Touchstone and at a LFL national convention), it is no religious intrusion into the domain of the state to insist that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people should know what a person is. There is no logically coherent or scientifically sustainable definition of human life that doesn't include the fact that it begins at conception.

As for what to do with people who have had abortions, that is a question on par with who will work the farms if the slaves are freed? Good question, but not one that bears on the issue of whether slavery ought to be illegal.

peter_speckhard

Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 02:10:09 PM

I don't disagree with what you have said...however, in the scenario described, that does not make me "pro-choice" by facing that circumstance or making that choice.

Under your definition, it does.  However, one could certainly say that it is morally wrong, and still make the choice, much as Bonhoeffer chose to kill Hitler in the officer's plot, and knowing it could put his salvation on the line.

So the brush stroke is not as broad as you may like to think it is.

Jeff Ruby       

No, saying that you can envision circumstances in which you would favor abortion does not make you pro-choice, it simply means you're engaged in a philosophical excursion that I don't think bears on the issue. And I have recognized all along that broad brush strokes don't cover every circumstance. I simply think the attempt to find fine-brush exceptions merely masks an attempt to avoid the issue via moral equivocation. I listen to all the what-ifs and it sounds like people trying to talk themselves out of something. "I can't apply for that job because I have nothing to wear to an interview," is something someone who doesn't really want the job says, even if it is true that he has nothing to wear to an interview. If he wanted the job, he'd deal with the attire problem after being offered the interview. "I can't ask her out; she loves swimming and I get a rash from chlorine," is something a teenager who is terrified to actually ask the girl out might say, and solving that problem would just lead to another imagined problem preventing actual action while preserving the illusion of desired action. "I can't offer blanket support for pro-life candidates because I need to know about this or that exception" is something someone says who simply doesn't want to deal with the reality of abortion and finds it comfortable to speak vaguely about misgivings with current policy without facing any of the difficulties of changing it.   

jrubyaz


Or maybe it means that on many issues in life we as Christians make blanket statements without recognizing the reality of human sin.  We also fail to  see that the same charity we seek from God should be applied to others. We demand justice for others and mercy for ourselves, and often don't balance the two.

Jeff Ruby 

Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 17, 2008, 03:23:16 PM
Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 02:10:09 PM

I don't disagree with what you have said...however, in the scenario described, that does not make me "pro-choice" by facing that circumstance or making that choice.

Under your definition, it does.  However, one could certainly say that it is morally wrong, and still make the choice, much as Bonhoeffer chose to kill Hitler in the officer's plot, and knowing it could put his salvation on the line.

So the brush stroke is not as broad as you may like to think it is.

Jeff Ruby       

No, saying that you can envision circumstances in which you would favor abortion does not make you pro-choice, it simply means you're engaged in a philosophical excursion that I don't think bears on the issue. And I have recognized all along that broad brush strokes don't cover every circumstance. I simply think the attempt to find fine-brush exceptions merely masks an attempt to avoid the issue via moral equivocation. I listen to all the what-ifs and it sounds like people trying to talk themselves out of something. "I can't apply for that job because I have nothing to wear to an interview," is something someone who doesn't really want the job says, even if it is true that he has nothing to wear to an interview. If he wanted the job, he'd deal with the attire problem after being offered the interview. "I can't ask her out; she loves swimming and I get a rash from chlorine," is something a teenager who is terrified to actually ask the girl out might say, and solving that problem would just lead to another imagined problem preventing actual action while preserving the illusion of desired action. "I can't offer blanket support for pro-life candidates because I need to know about this or that exception" is something someone says who simply doesn't want to deal with the reality of abortion and finds it comfortable to speak vaguely about misgivings with current policy without facing any of the difficulties of changing it.   

peter_speckhard

Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 03:37:21 PM

Or maybe it means that on many issues in life we as Christians make blanket statements without recognizing the reality of human sin.  We also fail to  see that the same charity we seek from God should be applied to others. We demand justice for others and mercy for ourselves, and often don't balance the two.

Jeff Ruby 

Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 17, 2008, 03:23:16 PM
Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 02:10:09 PM

I don't disagree with what you have said...however, in the scenario described, that does not make me "pro-choice" by facing that circumstance or making that choice.

Under your definition, it does.  However, one could certainly say that it is morally wrong, and still make the choice, much as Bonhoeffer chose to kill Hitler in the officer's plot, and knowing it could put his salvation on the line.

So the brush stroke is not as broad as you may like to think it is.

Jeff Ruby       

No, saying that you can envision circumstances in which you would favor abortion does not make you pro-choice, it simply means you're engaged in a philosophical excursion that I don't think bears on the issue. And I have recognized all along that broad brush strokes don't cover every circumstance. I simply think the attempt to find fine-brush exceptions merely masks an attempt to avoid the issue via moral equivocation. I listen to all the what-ifs and it sounds like people trying to talk themselves out of something. "I can't apply for that job because I have nothing to wear to an interview," is something someone who doesn't really want the job says, even if it is true that he has nothing to wear to an interview. If he wanted the job, he'd deal with the attire problem after being offered the interview. "I can't ask her out; she loves swimming and I get a rash from chlorine," is something a teenager who is terrified to actually ask the girl out might say, and solving that problem would just lead to another imagined problem preventing actual action while preserving the illusion of desired action. "I can't offer blanket support for pro-life candidates because I need to know about this or that exception" is something someone says who simply doesn't want to deal with the reality of abortion and finds it comfortable to speak vaguely about misgivings with current policy without facing any of the difficulties of changing it.   
We have blanket laws against rape despite (one might even say because of) the reality of human sin, which is why we also need laws against abortion (again, figuring out the rare exceptions from a pro-life defult starting-point). Rapists need mercy precisely because rape is a terrible thing, and against the law, as abortion should be. Nobody here is demanding justice for others but mercy for themselves, nor is anyone denying others God's grace. I'm simply saying that justice demands that life be protected, and mercy demands that helpless, innocent life be protected all the more. 

jrubyaz


I didn't say blanket laws. I said "blanket statements".

Jeff Ruby

Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 17, 2008, 05:16:10 PM
Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 03:37:21 PM

Or maybe it means that on many issues in life we as Christians make blanket statements without recognizing the reality of human sin.  We also fail to  see that the same charity we seek from God should be applied to others. We demand justice for others and mercy for ourselves, and often don't balance the two.

Jeff Ruby 

Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 17, 2008, 03:23:16 PM
Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 02:10:09 PM

I don't disagree with what you have said...however, in the scenario described, that does not make me "pro-choice" by facing that circumstance or making that choice.

Under your definition, it does.  However, one could certainly say that it is morally wrong, and still make the choice, much as Bonhoeffer chose to kill Hitler in the officer's plot, and knowing it could put his salvation on the line.

So the brush stroke is not as broad as you may like to think it is.

Jeff Ruby       

No, saying that you can envision circumstances in which you would favor abortion does not make you pro-choice, it simply means you're engaged in a philosophical excursion that I don't think bears on the issue. And I have recognized all along that broad brush strokes don't cover every circumstance. I simply think the attempt to find fine-brush exceptions merely masks an attempt to avoid the issue via moral equivocation. I listen to all the what-ifs and it sounds like people trying to talk themselves out of something. "I can't apply for that job because I have nothing to wear to an interview," is something someone who doesn't really want the job says, even if it is true that he has nothing to wear to an interview. If he wanted the job, he'd deal with the attire problem after being offered the interview. "I can't ask her out; she loves swimming and I get a rash from chlorine," is something a teenager who is terrified to actually ask the girl out might say, and solving that problem would just lead to another imagined problem preventing actual action while preserving the illusion of desired action. "I can't offer blanket support for pro-life candidates because I need to know about this or that exception" is something someone says who simply doesn't want to deal with the reality of abortion and finds it comfortable to speak vaguely about misgivings with current policy without facing any of the difficulties of changing it.   
We have blanket laws against rape despite (one might even say because of) the reality of human sin, which is why we also need laws against abortion (again, figuring out the rare exceptions from a pro-life defult starting-point). Rapists need mercy precisely because rape is a terrible thing, and against the law, as abortion should be. Nobody here is demanding justice for others but mercy for themselves, nor is anyone denying others God's grace. I'm simply saying that justice demands that life be protected, and mercy demands that helpless, innocent life be protected all the more. 

peter_speckhard

Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 06:12:36 PM

I didn't say blanket laws. I said "blanket statements".

Jeff Ruby

And you think my "blanket statements" about abortion don't recognize the reality of human sin? I would say they are the exact same thing as my "blanket statements" against rape.

jrubyaz


Try again.

Blanket laws are not the same thing as blanket statements.

Jeff Ruby

Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 17, 2008, 07:01:52 PM
Quote from: jrubyaz on November 17, 2008, 06:12:36 PM

I didn't say blanket laws. I said "blanket statements".

Jeff Ruby

And you think my "blanket statements" about abortion don't recognize the reality of human sin? I would say they are the exact same thing as my "blanket statements" against rape.

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