By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor
(CNN) - For decades, the March for Life has followed a familiar formula: Bus in thousands of abortion opponents. Protest in front of the Supreme Court. Go home.
But this year, in addition to braving snow and bone-chilling wind, the March will move in a different direction, says Jeanne Monahan, president of the anti-abortion group.
Long-winded political speeches? See ya.
An exclusive focus on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that lifted restrictions on abortion? Gone.
A hipster Catholic musician, evangelical leaders and March for Life app? Welcome to the protest.
And those changes just skim the surface.
The March for Life, billed as the world’s largest anti-abortion event, is remaking itself in deeper ways as well, says Monahan.
For its first 40 years, the march was marshaled by Nellie Gray, an occasionally irascible Catholic who had little use for modern technology, political compromise or the mainstream media.
Gray died in her home office in 2012 at age 88. A short time later, Monahan was named her successor at the March for Life.
While abortion opponents praise Gray’s legacy, there’s a popular saying around the March for Life’s Washington headquarters: “We’re a brand-new, 41-year-old organization.”
The goal: to turn their annual, one-day demonstration into a potent political machine.
Abortion rights advocates say they’re skeptical that March for Life leaders can convince more Americans to join their cause. Since 1989, the percentage who want to overturn Roe has barely budged above 30%.
“It’s an impressive show,” Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, says of the March for Life. “But at the end of the day, they have failed dramatically at their goal.”
Still, even O’Brien expressed respect for his foes’ new plans. “It’s pretty clever, actually.”
With that in mind, here are six big ways the March for Life is changing this year:
1) 9 to 5
Since 1974, the March for Life has made a really loud noise every January 22, the anniversary of Roe. V. Wade.
Estimates of the crowd’s size vary, but it seems safe to say tens of thousands have attended the protest each year.
Organizers estimate that at least 50% of the marchers are under 18, as busloads of Catholic school kids descend on the capital from across the country.
But some abortion opponents complain the March for Life had morphed in recent years from a political demonstration to a photo op.
Ryan Bomberger, an anti-abortion activist who is speaking at march events, says the protest needs to find ways to harness its youthful energy throughout the year.
“You’ve got all these young people with energy and passion and the desire to do something about the injustice of abortion. But what do they do when they leave the march and go home?”
March for Life leaders want to turn its young protesters into citizen lobbyists, much like Tea Party partisans and the Obama campaign did with their troops.
The key to that, says March for Life's Chairman of the Board Patrick Kelly, is to keep them engaged throughout the year, including through social media. (More on that later.)
In addition to Monahan, an experienced Washington politico, the March for Life has beefed up its Washington office by hiring a full-time lobbyist and social media manager who will also lead outreach to evangelicals, a big and politically active constituency.
The focus this year will be combating the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, which requires most companies to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees. Abortion opponents say that some covered services are tantamount to abortion.
2) If You’ve Got the Money, We've Got the Time
For decades, the March for Life subsisted on a meager budget: Just $150,000 a year, according to tax filings from 2009-2011.
But new Washington offices, lobbyists and social media managers don’t come cheap. Fortunately for the March for Life, a donor who was a friend of Gray’s bequeathed $550,000 to the organization last year.
That, along with a more robust fund-raising campaign, has allowed the March to increase its budget from $252,000 when Monahan took over in 2012, to $780,000 this year.
“We are professionalizing the March for Life,” said Kelly.
3) With Arms Wide Open
Though various religious groups oppose abortion (many support abortion rights as well) the March for Life has come to be considered mainly a Catholic event.
Catholic clergy offer prayers, Catholic politicians make speeches and Catholic school kids fill out the rank-and-file.
Monahan says this year will different.
The March for Life has hired a full-time staffer devoted to bringing more Protestant evangelicals to the protest, and they hope to see that effort bear fruit this Wednesday.
They’ve tapped James Dobson, founder of the evangelical powerhouse ministry Focus on the Family, as a keynote speaker. Dobson and his adopted son, Ryan, will talk about adoption, an issue close to the heart of many evangelicals.
4) The Hardest Part
For the first time in its 41 years, the March for Life will focus on an issue besides abortion on Wednesday.
Through Dobson and other speakers, the march is also promoting the idea of “noble adoption” as an alternative to abortion.
“Adoption is a heroic decision for pregnant mothers who find themselves in a difficult situation,” says Monahan. “We want to eliminate the stigma of adoption and encourage women to pursue this noble option.”
The spotlight on adoption dovetails with new focus within the anti-abortion movement on crisis pregnancy centers, which urge women to carry their pregnancy to term.
Critics charge that the centers divulge false medical information about abortion and deceive unwitting patients into thinking they provide abortions, only to advise them otherwise. Supporters say they help women through financial assistance, counseling and adoption referrals.
5) Wish You Were Here
Despite the youth of many March for Life participants, the group’s website had been decidedly Web 1.0.
Under Monahan, that has changed dramatically.
The group posts Instagram pics of chilly protesters trudging through snow at past marches on Throwback Thursdays. They upload posts about prenatal development to Pinterest and tweet throughout the year, including this one about the difficult choices pregnant women sometimes face.
For the more technically advanced, the March has developed an app that connects to a 360-degree camera so folks can follow the protest from home. The app also has anti-abortion information, links to articles about adoption and tips for lobbying Congress.
“We have to find a way to take those boots on the ground and talk to them throughout the year,” says Kelly. “And with Facebook and Twitter and other social media we have the tools to do so.”
The March is also hoping for a high-profile social media endorsement on Wednesday: Monahan says she’s asked the Vatican to send a tweet from the Pope in support of the March for Life.
UPDATE: On Wednesday morning, Monahan got her papal tweet.
I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) January 22, 2014
I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) January 22, 2014
6) Yakety Yak
Imagine listening to politicians drone on for hours about their voting records in the chilly January air.
Monahan didn’t think so either, so she’s trying to accomplish a minor miracle: limiting the speaking time of politicians at the pre-march rally.
Only a handful of politicians, including House Majority Leader Eric Canton, R-Virginia, and Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Illinois, have been invited to speak. They’ve all been asked to keep their speeches to a just a few minutes.
“In past years our rally has gone on for two or three hours and people lost interest,” Monahan says.
So, instead of boring speeches, the rally this year will feature a live concert by Matt Maher, a Catholic singer-songwriter with a huge following among young Christians.
So, will all this make any difference?
Clearly, changes are afoot this year at the March for Life. But what effect, if any, will they have on the larger anti-abortion movement?
Not much, says Ziad Munson, a sociologist at Lehigh University and author of the book “The Making of Pro-life Activists.”
The March for Life hasn’t really been politically influential since the early 1990s, says Munson. Meanwhile, other abortion opponents, like Catholic bishops and National Right to Life Committee, have led the charge.
“In effect, what we’re seeing is a new organization within a movement, not a new approach,” he says. “I don’t think the March for Life is likely to make inroads that haven’t already been made.”
Monahan is more optimistic.
If the March can recruit even a slice of its youthful protesters into citizen activists, she says, it might be enough to tip the balance in a country deeply divided on the morality of abortion.
At what stage does an embryo end and a fetus begin?
When does the light of consciousness filter through to the womb?
Do these distinctions really matter when contemplating the sanct.ity of life?
Personally, I don't think so. Abortion is killing a potential human.
I don't think that is a particularly negative thing in many circu.mstances.
In 1900 in some U.S. cities, up to 30% of infants died before reaching their first birthday. Today the rate is .07%!
Global population has increased from 2 to 7 billion in less than 100 years.
There are simply too many people!
Any species left to expand unabated will eventually die off, drowning in it's own waste – and we are well on our way. The species must be culled in order to remain healthy. Normally, this culling would be done by natural processes like disease or predation – but we have largely conquered disease and have no predator save for ourselves (barring statistically insignificant instances like bear attacks and whatnot).
As unpleasant as it may be to face up to reality, a large portion of the species will die unnatural deaths sooner or later, be it in war or as a result of the pressure we have put on our environment (not just AlGoreMageddon global warming, but the inevitable proliferation of deadly diseases rushing through overcrowded urban centres).
Think of abortion as a pre-emptive measure.
Is it moral to condemn a child to a brutish life with an impoverished parent who never wanted them?
What of a child conceived through ra/pe? Many women will never get over the trauma and will see the child as a constant reminder of when they were violated. As much as they might wish to love the child unconditionally, there can always be a subconscious animosity.
What of adoption? Kids who have gone through the orphanage system are statistically far more likely to wind up with psychological problems, severe addictions, limited educations, criminal records etc.
The side-effects when people worry about more about shunning contraception and less about planning for the end results:
The 50 most violent cities in the world:
By far, most of these crime-ridden cities are in fundamentally Christian countries.
Your population numbers show a severe bias.
Can you cite any references that prove the number wrong?
I am pretty sure if lions had bigger brains and fingers and we had clumsy claws, their lives would be sanctified and holy and we'd be food. These are all man made rules and assumptions. In the ancient world if they didn;t want their children they would give brith and then put them in large urns to die of malnutrition. Safe and legalized abortion is a safer and more humane way to end an unwanted pregnancy. But if you have control you can make up any story, and rules you want. All major religions only got off the ground with royal backing. Jesus had gifts from 3 Magi, and Constantine was the King who legalized Christianity (it only bacame a legal cult in the 4th century). Moses was an adopted son of a Pharoah, Buddha was a Prince, Krishna was a King, Hammurabi was a Babylonian king (author of the first written moral code followed by Egyptians), Mithra was a King (Persia), and Muhammed was a warrior prince. Religion should stay out of politics, out of government. I don't want to live by their barbarian, uncivilized rules.
"OR is it you go by your selfish rules. That will not get you to heaven. End of story."
Hmmmm ... let's see, everyone should have the right to life before being born, but not everyone gets the right to life after dying?
Now ... that seems really hypocritical of y'all godsters. Seems to me, we ALL get to heaven, just like you want us all to be born.
God doesn't force people who hate him to live with him forever.
Overturn Roe v Wade? Admit that all of the past abortions were actually murder? No one's hands are clean. I guess in my wildest dreams, the one where laws of logic and proportion are suspended, that could happen.
For all of you Christian frauds who believe that abortion is a sin, I hope you are following god's word and do not partake in the following:
Eating ham: Leviticus 11:7-8
Getting a tattoo: Leviticus 19:28
Rounded haircuts: Leviticus 19:27
Have injured private parts: Deuteronomy 23:1
Consulting psychics: Leviticus 19:31
Gossiping: Leviticus 19:16
Wives helping out their husbands during a fight: Deuteronomy 25:11-12
Children cursing their parents: Exodus 21:17
Getting remarried after a divorce: Mark 10:11-12
Working on the sabbath: Exodus 31:14-15
Woman speaking in churches: 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Eating shrimp, lobster, or other assorted seafood: Leviticus 10-11
you're a fraud aren't you?
Most of those are old covenant. So your argument is fallacious.
Try again. Was it the SAME perfect and "unchanging" God in BOTH TESTAMENTS?
Yep. But you're going to argue that because the covenant changed that means God did. Nope. We broke the old covenant. Not Him. So He gave an even better one that we can't break.
hat was pretty dumb of god to not give us a covenant we couldn't break the first time around.
So God didn't change, but the rules did?
The rules didn't really change. We didn't keep God's laws. Christ did. Every time you've lusted, He didn't. Every time you've lied, He didn't. He fulfilled those laws. And thus was the perfect "spotless lamb" to pay our ransom.
I'm confused. How does one "fulfill" laws?
If one person never goes over the speed limit and then get crucified for it, can we then go as fast as we want?
"The rules didn't really change."
So we are still supposed to KILL people for the LONG LIST of reasons God gave?
So Jesus fulfilled the law he demanded of his people. So that law was righteous and good in Gods eyes correct? So even if we no longer have to follow it because God paid the price for our sins, they are still sins and they are still what God actually wanted for humans right? To live by those laws in the old tes tement, right? And if he is unchanging, then he does hate fabric woven of two fibers and shellfish and all the rest and is just washing away our sin of over eating at Red Lobster with his own never ending blood supply.
No. Those civil laws were written for the Jews living at that time. We are not Israel and not living in that time period thus those laws aren't for us.
"Those civil laws were written for the Jews living at that time. We are not Israel and not living in that time period thus those laws aren't for us."
Yep. Same for the TEN COMMANDMENTS.
Nope. See below. The moral laws are still at play in the new covenant.
So God has a different set of laws for each person? Or just different sets of laws for a period of time or a region? Or is it continent based? Just trying to figure out why your God would be such a Richard as to give different rules to different people and expect them to worship him in some sort of consistant fashion.
As are the ten commandments...
True, but the Commandments are also moral laws under the new covenant. They are still in play. How many have you kept?
Yes, basing 21st Century US social policy on a collection of late Bronze Age Jewish mythology is pretty fvcking stupid. If the evangelicals had their way, we would be teaching the "six days and a talking snake" theory of the origins of the Universe to schoolchildren!!
Nope. I don't want Creation taught in school. But I also don't want the lies of evolution taught, either.
lies of evolution?!?!
Oh Topher. Just when I think there may be some glimmer of hope for you, you say something asinine like this.
There is plenty of evidence for evolution.I see our conversation about evolution on pg 1 has disappeared. Shall we repeat it?
I'm game. I was just doing a bunch of studying on the topic this morning.
You can't learn about evolution in the bible Topher, and since it appears that is all you ever read you haven't actually learned anything.
" I was just doing a bunch of studying on the topic this morning."
I hate to even ask, but what did you learn?
Well, for instance, one of the evolutionary lies still found in textbooks today — and even claimed by several atheists on this blog — is that human embryos have fish gills. This was proven to be a lie in 1875. Those folds in the skin become bones in the ear and glands in the throat. They never have anything to do with breathing. ("Asking About Life.") Haeckel even admitted to falsifying his drawings ... “A small percent of my embryonic drawings are forgeries; those namely, for which the observed materieal is so incomplete or insufficient as to fill in and reconstruct the missing links by hypothesis and comparative synthesis.” And even stated ... “I should feel utterly condemned … were it not that hundreds of the best observers, and biologists lie under the same charge.”
You can believe in evolution if you want. That's fine. Just don't teach these lies as truth to support your belief.
Medical imaging has advanced just slightly since 1875.
Topher, you should really just give it up. Trying to argue that evolution doesn't only makes you look like a fool.
"...human embryos have fish gills"
Well that's incorrect. I don't know of any current textbooks that claim that human embryos actually have gills.
"Haeckel even admitted to falsifying his drawings..."
This is a canard, Haeckel's images are commonly used an example of a disproven hypothesis. So, yes, they may be in textbooks, but as an example of *bad* science.
"Just don't teach these lies as truth to support your belief."
As I've posted before there is plenty of evidence to support the theory of evolution. If the only thing you can come up with is a centrury old disproven hypothesis, then how can you call the entire theory lies?
@Topher, not Toopher.
"Well that's incorrect. I don't know of any current textbooks that claim that human embryos actually have gills."
I can't speak to what is in a student's hands today, but I can give you specific examples from the last decade in which this is the case. Second, apparently it's being taught somewhere because atheists have made this claim to me in more than a handful of occasions on this blog alone.
"This is a canard, Haeckel's images are commonly used an example of a disproven hypothesis. So, yes, they may be in textbooks, but as an example of *bad* science."
The bad science I agree with. In fact, it's not science at all. “Moreover, the biogenetic law has become so deeply rooted in biological thought that it cannot be weeded out in spite of is having been demonstrated to be wrong by numerous subsequent scholars.” — Walter J. Bock (Dept. of Biological Sciences, Columbia Univ.) “Evolution by Orderly Law” Science.
“Surely the biogenetic law is as dead as a doornail.” — Keith Stewart Thomson, “Ontogeny and Phylogeny Recapitulated” American Scientist
"As I've posted before there is plenty of evidence to support the theory of evolution. If the only thing you can come up with is a centrury old disproven hypothesis, then how can you call the entire theory lies?"
Well, because I believe that when all the lies are weeded out (like the one above that IS still being taught as fact) I don't think you have any evidence. If you have some with good science, have at it. The problem is science rejects evolution (not testable, repeatable nor demonstrable). There's not one shred of evidence of a change of kinds (one creature becoming a different creature) nor is it scientific to argue it because a creature only has the genetic information to create whatever it already is. A cow will only produce a cow. A dog will only produce a dog. To get anything else would require an addition of genetic information, a problem since we only see losses of information. So clearly, its not just a Haeckel problem.
Why is it that only religious nut jobs such as topher don't believe in Evolution?
"The problem is science rejects evolution."
Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, have issued statements rejecting intelligent design and a peti.tion supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society with more than 130,000 members and over 262 affiliated societies and academies of science including over 10 million individuals, has made several statements and issued several press releases in support of evolution.
According to the The International Federation of Biologists, there are more than 3 million bilogical scientists globally who rely on the 5 laws of Darwinian evolution for their jobs every single day.
"To get anything else would require an addition of genetic information"
That isn't so.
DNA is a quadrinary code, just as computers use a binary code for their programming.
It isn't so much about how much information there is, but rather how it is arranged.
Slight re-arrangements or alterations in the base code may or may not yield demonstrable differences, but the difference will still be there – and changes become cu.mulative and exponential as time goes on.
What really bothers your Creationist mind, Topher, is that the theory of evolution – practiced and practically applied by thousands of people in hundreds of different disciplines every single day for more than 150 years, is predicated on the understanding that that the world is not constant, nor recently created, nor cycling, but is changing; and that the types of enti.ties that live on it also change.
In order to keep from being tarred and feathered, Evolutionary scientists are strongly motivated to ameliorate conflict between evolution and religion. Sociobiology offers them an apparent conciliatory path to the compatibility of religion and evolution, avoiding all language of inescapable conflict. Sociobiological evolution is the means to understand religion, whereas religion as a 'way of knowing' has nothing to teach us about evolution.
All those scientists liking evolution does not prove its existence. It only proves their presuppositions and worldview. Plus its an argument from authority fallacy.
I'd like to know what jobs require the "5 laws of Darwin." There are six types of evolution and only one of them has been observed.
“The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. … the answer can be given as a clear, No.” — Roger Lewin, “Evolution Theory Under Fire” Science.
Changing DNA code around doesn't get you from one creature to another.
"and changes become cu.mulative and exponential as time goes on."
You mean like mutations? There's big problems for mutations. Second, there are changes, we see these — hair color, height, eye color, body mass, all the things that make me physically different from you. But these changes have limitations. You only have the genetic information to be a human. You and I are different in many ways, but we're still human.
"I can't speak to what is in a student's hands today, but I can give you specific examples from the last decade in which this is the case. Second, apparently it's being taught somewhere because atheists have made this claim to me in more than a handful of occasions on this blog alone."
As I said, if anyone is claiming that human embryos have actual gills then they are incorrect. Embryos do have "pharyngeal pouches", which are often mistakenly called "gill slits", but never as far as I know are actual "gills" indicated.
As I said before recapitulation, or "biogenetic law", is a disproven hypothesis. Proposing hypotheses and either disproving or confirming them is the whole point of science. How does that disprove the Theory of Evolution?
"Well, because I believe that when all the lies are weeded out (like the one above that IS still being taught as fact) I don't think you have any evidence."
I don't think "biogenetic law" is being taught as fact, but if it is, then I agree that it should not be, because it is incorrect. However, evolution is not in anyway dependent of "biogenetic law" and therefore is not impacted.
"If you have some with good science, have at it."
I have already listed many highlight, which you were "not familiar with".
some of which are Tiktaalik, Ambulocetus, Cytochrome-C, Human Chromosome 2, ERVs, Marsupials, Lenski's experiment, etc.
"The problem is science rejects evolution (not testable, repeatable nor demonstrable)."
This is incorrect. 1) It has been observed (testable, demonstrable) and 2) the predictions based on the theory are tested all the time by evidence in the field and labs. ex: Tiktaalik, Lenkski's experiment, Human Chromosome 2, etc.
"There's not one shred of evidence of a change of kinds (one creature becoming a different creature)..."
1) Kind is a va.gue term.
2) Evolution happens to populations not to individuals, i.e. not "one creature becoming a different creature", and it only happens between species, not higher orders.
"nor is it scientific to argue it because a creature only has the genetic information to create whatever it already is."
New genetic sequences can and are generated by duplication, transposition, and genetic drift among other mechanisms.
"To get anything else would require an addition of genetic information, a problem since we only see losses of information."
Although it is unclear what you mean by "genetic information," we don't only see "losses", for example, Lenski's long term experiment shows the evolution of an new function previous unavailable to e.coli.
"So clearly, its not just a Haeckel problem."
I've explained that what you think are problems are not in fact problems. In addition, there is no Haeckel problem; 1) his hypothesis on recapitulation is disproven which, by the way, is part of the scientific process and 2) the Theory of Evolution is not dependent on recapitulation.
You are quote mining. Your Lewin quote is from an article about a conference, not a scientific paper, and what was being talked about was the punctuated equilibrium debate, which is not an argument against evolution, just a consistent pace for evolution. (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/210/4472/883.extract)
And here's a quote from Gould, one of the originators of punctuated equilibrium:
"Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists - whether through design or stupidity, I do not know - as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups."
– Gould, Stephen Jay 1983. "Evolution as Fact and Theory" in Hens Teeth and Horse's Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., p. 258-260. (as quoted at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html)
"Changing DNA code around doesn't get you from one creature to another."
Umm... isn't that exactly what differentiate one creature from another?
I have a rather lengthy response to your points, but there must be a word not getting through the censors. It won't post. Sorry about that. Going to move on to the current page ...
Well, at least you let me know. Thanks for that.
Yeah, you hear that, doG? Christians get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible they believe. Yet they still believe in the creation story, Noah's Ark and other such nonsense. Only when confronted with hypocrisy do they pull the "that's Old Testament" stuff...
It's not picking and choosing. It's what God has told us to obey. When you atheists whine and say we're "picking and choosing" all it does is show you've not read the Bible.
You are the ONE who hasn't read the Bible.
Tell us JUST ONE TIME when God commanded the killing of women, when he gave a rip if the woman was pregnant or not.
Please go read a Bible.
Just curious, where in the Bible does it say Christians and believing Jews do not still have to follow Old Testament commandments?
"Just curious, where in the Bible does it say Christians and believing Jews do not still have to follow Old Testament commandments?"
Depends on which law you're talking about. For instance, eating of certain foods was admitted in Mark 7 and Acts 10. I believe if you read Hebrews 9:11-12 it talks about why we no longer have animal sacrifice, thus the priestly laws are out ...
So Jesus didn't say it, his apostles reached that conclusion? And what about the other commandments not related to food or to temple sacrifices?
"So Jesus didn't say it, his apostles reached that conclusion?"
Read those texts. It is Jesus.
"And what about the other commandments not related to food or to temple sacrifices?"
Do you honestly want to know or are you just one of those atheists who will ask 100 questions and will say "gotcha" when I can answer only 99?
I'm not a Christian, but I do try to understand it. It seems there are conflicting directives concerning the law. Matthew 5:17-20, for instance, seems to have Jesus saying the law still needs to be followed.
"'m not a Christian, but I do try to understand it."
Good on you, dude! If you're going to reject something, at least know what you are rejecting.
"It seems there are conflicting directives concerning the law. Matthew 5:17-20, for instance, seems to have Jesus saying the law still needs to be followed."
A general "rule" is that all the old testament rules are out unless reaffirmed in the new testament. That's why some of the OT things are still in place, such as the moral laws (10 Commandments). You also have to understand that during Christ's earthly ministry they were still under the OT rules. That's why when Jesus says the laws (OT) are not to be removed until all is fulfilled ... it wasn't fulfilled yet. But of course He fulfills those laws.
"... all the old testament rules are out unless reaffirmed in the new testament"
That strikes me as backwards and an interpretation out of convenience.
"For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
Heaven and earth haven't disappeared, so how can it be thought that "everything is accomplished"? Seems to me Jesus was likely referring to the day of judgement.
It would be extremely good to have a renewed emphasis on adoption, before Roe v. Wade the Catholic Church was one of the leading proponents of adoption that seems to have lost favor in the past several years. I am all for presenting the choice of adoption over abortion but the key word is CHOICE. Let us not kid ourselves here, when you give the government the power to force a woman to have a baby you give them the power to force a woman NOT to have a baby, remember the states that had eugenics programs.
What do you think Planned Parenthood was started for?
Planned Parenthood was started about ONE HUNDRED years ago.
This is 2014, when women are allowed to vote.
OK ... what does that have to do with how Planned Parenthood started?
What odes how it started have to do with what it does today?
It was started as a eugenics program and you can argue it still is ... if not on the abortions alone, but the neighborhoods where they're located.
Do you think that is the function of PP today? Or are you one of those that thinks all women 'a health should be decided by men?
Topher, slavery used to be legal. You're throwing out red herrings left and right.
The way it started (and there are differing opinions on this) has no bearing on how it functions today. So stop bringing it up as if it were.
"Do you think that is the function of PP today?"
Yes, I do. Maybe not as strongly since the founder is no longer with us. But the same actions are taking place and a lot of the time for the same reasons. Not the neighborhoods.
"Or are you one of those that thinks all women 'a health should be decided by men?"
I don't think gender needs to be brought into it at all. Both men and women can make decisions on morality even if it only affects the other gender. Something is either right or wrong. Gender has nothing to do with it.
"Topher, slavery used to be legal. You're throwing out red herrings left and right."
Which only goes to show you laws can be wrong. Nothing "red herring" about it.
"The way it started (and there are differing opinions on this) has no bearing on how it functions today. So stop bringing it up as if it were."
There are no differing opinions on what the founder believed. We have interviews with her and she's quite clear. So if that organization is still operating today and still performing the same actions, what makes you think it's any different?
Exactly. I've pointed this out many times.
The only people who should have a say in whether or not to abort are the expecting woman and her doctor. It is her body, and it is illogical to suspend her rights as a fully grown, fully sentient, biologically independent, thinking, feeling human being because she *might* have a baby in 9 months. Anti-choice people are just bored nosy-neighbors who think they know what's best for everyone, and it's simply not their business. They are what's wrong with our country - if we want small government we have to tell these people to bugger off about regulating things that do not personally affect them unless they choose to allow it. If it's not your body, it's not your business.
What about the unborn child's rights? Who protects them?
unborn children are over-rated
A wanted fetus has the rights as something valuable to the mother should harm (assault, attacks, etc) come to it via the mother's body. But it doesn't have any rights, nor should it, as it is not a person. It is a part of a person's body. If you feel the need to protect a child, there are thousand upon thousands in foster care that could use it.
Two problems with your argument ... at least.
1). Men can't make moral decisions.
2). In 9 months a human baby will be born every time.
Not every time. God likes to kill unborn babies too.
Fine. Should it come to term, it will be born a human every time.
"In 9 months a human baby will be born every time"
Totally FALSE. Ever heard of miscarriages? God watches MILLIONS of them and doesn't do anything about it.
1 – It's not their body. Nothing's stopping the father from speaking his mind, but in the end if she doesn't want the child he can't force her into being an incubator. You shouldn't force anyone to do something to their body that they don't want to do.
2 – There are many children born that I question whether or not they are human. Not to mention, 10-20% of known pregnancies result in miscarriages, so in 9 months a mother might not have anything because nature.
"There are many children born that I question whether or not they are human."
You mean like people who think it's OK to murder their unborn child?
Topher, you are all over this message board and you don't strike me as an intelligent person. You strike me as a rigid, religious fanatic that society would be better off without. Suffice it to say, until you can listen to reason and stop using semantics and erroneous words ( see your use of "unborn child" - it's not a child, a 2 year old is a child, a fetus is a clump of cells), I suggest you stop talking to everyone. Don't you have a bible to cherry-pick?
" It is her body, and it is illogical to suspend her rights as a fully grown, fully sentient, biologically independent, thinking, feeling human being because she *might* have a baby in 9 months. "
Why is it illogical to protect someone from being harmed by someone else? I assume you argument is that the unborn child does not have rights–if that is the case, that's all you need to say, you don't need to come up with any other argument.
Which leads to the inevitable questions...what makes a person a person? When is a baby human enough that it gets to be protected? Who gets to decide who is or isn't human?
Why should something that is not technically alive or sentient have rights? Up until birth, it is simply a part of a woman's body. It's not a person, it's a mass of cells that may become a person, and only that.
"Why should something that is not technically alive or sentient have rights? Up until birth, it is simply a part of a woman's body."
How do you conclude a fetus is not technically alive or sentient until birth? Is it the birth process itself that somehow triggers those qualities?
Science and medicine, Winston. People who are much smarter than you and much more skilled than you have determined that a fetus lacks the required organs and/or functions to be alive or sentient, or cognizant. It's why late-term abortions are frowned upon - after 23-24 weeks sentience with medical assistance is possible (though not always probable). Before that, a fetus doesn't even have the neural pathways it needs, which is why it is not life. If the mother miscarried at 9.5 weeks, there'd be no identifying that lump of cells as a baby (unless you're the doctor). So why is abortion at 9.5 weeks so wrong? Why are your protestations anything but you meddling where you ought not to?
You seemed to be asserting that a child was not alive or sentient until birth–that seemed silly and not supportable scientifically or otherwise, and is what I was addressing. I don't have a problem with identifying a point at which life and sentience begins in some scientific way, I have no religious or other agenda. But like I said, I think defining that point as the moment of birth is unsupportable.
Nothing makes me more sure that I'm right, than seeing a christian on the other side of the issue.
And then there are those of us who judge the merit of an argument based on the actual argument. But I guess broad brushes and ad hominem attacks are easier.
"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life.
In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed.
And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there.
That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth.
We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."
–Sister Joan Chittister
There is a difference between charity and letting the government do everything for you.
Why can't one be for charity AND equal rights to life?
Crisis Pregnancy Centres and Planned Parenthood have well maintained reputations. No doubt there's considerable self selection among their clients. For either to claim that the other misleads clients on what they do is disingenuous at best.
I don't see all the pro-life people out adopting homeless animals from shelters, that will be killed because no one wants them...what makes a dog, cat, or any other animal for that matters life less valuable than that of a human are we that ignorant to think that we are the superiors and get to decide?
"what makes a dog, cat, or any other animal for that matters life less valuable than that of a human"
You can't be serious.... are you?
It is a very Buddhist point of view, and since much of what Jesus allegedly said came straight from the Buddha, you may want to study some of what Buddha had to say.
What makes you think that YOUR life is a more important life form to the universe that any other life?
Because an animal isn't going to pay the bills you a55clown.
nothing of value to say, and an insult to boot...wow...your mom must be so proud.
Definitely serious, just because you think you are a superior race to a dog, cat or anything, it is okay for you to decide to euthanize it and end it's life because it has been in the shelter for longer than 6 months. Like they have an expiration date on the bottom of their paw. Who are we to decide that. And if it's overpopulation you are worried about, than you should be pro-choice as well.
Are you a vegetarian?
I believe in pro-choice, so whether or not I am a vegetarian does not matter, I am saying if you are pro-life what gives you the audacity to say a fetus's life is more important that an animal? All life should be created equal in a pro-lifer's eyes or they are hypocrits.
James, an animal isn't going to pay the bills just as much as a fetus will not be able to pay the bills, in fact having an animal instead of a baby may help you to pay your bills as animals are much cheaper than babies.
I'll ask again–are you a vegetarian? If not, what was the point of that post?
First of all, dog/cat/ are not "race" but Genus/species. So I am assuming you are a white anglo-saxon prodestant (sp) playing the race card.
I think "pro-life" usually implies "pro-[human] life", not all life.
What evidence do you have to back up that assertion?
The evidence would be everytime I go to the humane society there aren't protesters outside making you feel awful for not adopting an animal.
And, animals are still being euthanized, but their is no fight to end it.
What evidence do you have that no one in a pro-life rally has adopted pets?
I don't see all the pro-life people out adopting homeless kids... after they are born they have no value to them..
You have no clue how many adopted children anyone has.
There's plenty of idea on how many they don't have.
Some of the comments just show how hard hearted and cold we've become. If you believe the news reports, which are biased to pro-choice then you really don't want to be educated with the truth. We are missing 1/3rd of our population that could have found cures for diseases, been someone wife or husband who can't find that special someone. Every day there is more than the twin towers perishing every day it's a tower of babies every day, Islam has a plan and it will work to let all our countries kill there babies and now there elderly. They are having up to eight children per family, They will out number us by 2050 which will over take our population. Our poor children and Grandchildren. Future generations will read in history what we allowed. This is not heath care! This is an option, Doctors promise to save life's not destroy it. How can we allow babies to be killed up to 24 weeks the same babies can live out of the womb. you can see them suck there thumb at twelve weeks. It's common sense. What follows is a women never forgets the baby they gave up to a cruel death. The statistics show a high rate of depression. Adoption is such better option for everyone involved.
Or maybe every aborted foetus would have grown up to be the next Hitler. God Bless Abortion.
Are you going to say that when people choose to abort a baby because it is female? Are you going to say that if people abort a baby because it is gay (that is if they ever find a gay gene)?
Yep. God Bless Abortion.
You want to ADD many kids to the list of TENS of THOUSANDS who are already available for adoption.
How many will you adopt?
This is really a fallacious argument. Let's stop making everyone else deal with the problem and take responsibility for our own actions. What a "gimme-a-handout" culture we've become.
"Let's stop making everyone else deal with the problem and take responsibility for our own actions."
Yep. You won't adopt and she has taken action.
Or she should take responsibility and either raise it or give it to someone who is willing.
Judging by the large number of children currently up for adoption in the U.S.A. it appears that there are not that many people willing to adopt all of these unwanted babies.
"Or she should take responsibility and either raise it or give it to someone who is willing."
There are TENS of THOUSANDS of kids up for adoption now. So who is willing? Are you volunteering?
@Pete So they are better off dead?
By your reasoning, we should just all those awaiting adoption to solve the problem.
Last post should have said "By your reasoning, we should just kill all those awaiting adoption to solve the problem."
By your reasoning, we should just warehouse unwanted and unadopted children. Oh, wait. We are.
What would you have us do with them?
You are really all over the map there. Especially the part where you want us to have more children JUST so that we can somehow compete with muslims who are having children...incredibly inane.
When all of the children who currently are up for adoption actually get adopted, you may have more ammunition for your point, but since MANY children are not getting adopted as it is, how is adding more children going to help?
"When all of the children who currently are up for adoption actually get adopted, you may have more ammunition for your point, but since MANY children are not getting adopted as it is, how is adding more children going to help?"
I'm really not understanding your point–abortion should be allowed, no matter how morally reprehensible, just to reduce the number of unadopted chiildren?
If you read my REPLY to the original post, so you would have context, you should not need to ask your question.
The OP wanted us to make more children so that we could compete with the muslims, and said there is always adoption. Since adoption is not working...it is a bad tactic without extensive planning.
How many people are out there who want to adopt, or are thinking about it? No one knows, so increasing the supply without increasing the demand will only end up with more full orphanages.
How many want to adopt a child that has fetal alcohol syndrome, crack addicted babies, babies from too young mothers who did not eat anywhere near properly, downs syndrome, from a different race...not many....
I am not advocating for more abortions as a solution, but more adoptions is not an answer without a lot more infrastructure.
"Prior to 1973, America was a nation of people who made sacrifices so their children would have an easier life. In 1973, America became a nation of people who sacrifed their chidren in order to have an easier life." - Mike S. Adams
I tend to agree with the quote.
@Winston. You're the one that's full of short, sarcastic sayings.
Call the two sides their proper true names: not Pro-Choice or Pro-Life. The crux of the matter is abortion.
The two sides are really Pro-Abortion or Anti-Abortion.
And both sides have significant arguments: Economics and Pragmatics vs. Theology and Humanity
Just be glad @Winston that your mother didn't decide to abort.
Completely WRONG. The sides are pro-choice and anti-choice and you are obviously on the anti-choice side.
Just be glad Robert that YOUR mother's egg didn't miss your father's speerm during inception... and you were flushed out of your mother's cervix and into the toilet... that would've been a shame.
Does my stupid comment make you feel better about yours?
Nice sound bite. Absolute drivel, but nice nonetheless.
prior to 1973, women died in back alley abortions because they couldn't go to a hospital.
All that means is that there were women who were desperate to terminate their pregnancies for various reasons. It does not address whether or not it was murder to do so.
Right. So every time someone is willing to break the law and harm themselves in the process, we should change that law and make it legal. Let's just disregard why that law was made in the first place. Ridiculous.
Always seems funny when men argue over a woman's body, and wat she wants to do with it. Sounds a bit controlling, no?
All laws are about control, no? Can't be helped that this one only applies to women. Selective service laws only apply to men.
It's issues like the murder of innocent children that make me wish that I could take the passage "be angry and sin not," and take out the word "not..."
And remember LoA sin is your deal not reality.
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
NOT so by the way LoA the pope twit above is funny really – how is god going to help ?
Sin is a religious deal.
"All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." ... Nope
There are no innocent children...they are all sinners, right?
Now you need to get away from the word sin, since it is ONLY in relation to YOUR beliefs, and as such cannot be legislated.
"There are no innocent children...they are all sinners, right?"
Right. All are born sinners, that's why we sin. What the Psalmist was referring to when he said "hands that shed innocent blood are an abomination to God," was that they were innocent in the sense that they have done nothing worthy of death. And that's not MY interpretation... Read the passage as a whole.
LoA: "All are born sinners"
Raises an interesting question, and I'd be interested in your answer: When does that sin nature come into play–at birth, or at conception?
Its no bodies business but the woman whos pregnant
And the baby who is being murdered...
Look up the definition of baby.
I don't care how a sinful world defines a baby. I only care how God defines one.
god kills babies. says so in the bible. he killed lots of pregnant women too - the harshest form of abortion. do you hate god?
Riiiiiiiight. Good luck with that.
How would you hope to know that?
You're equating what God does to what man does? That's the same as calling natural death a murder.
Lawrence of Arabia,
God TORTUROUSLY "MURDERED" EVERY pregnant woman, child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth.
Read a Bible.
"God TORTUROUSLY "MURDERED" EVERY pregnant woman, child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth"
No, you're equating the words "murder" and "kill." They are two different things. If our justice system kills a convicted mass murderer, is that also murder? No.
When is a baby sufficiently human enough in your eyes that we don't kill it? Who among us is wise enough to decide what a person is? You?
So the good people at Webster get to decide if a child is human enough to not be killed?
"If our justice system kills a convicted mass murderer"
It is murder...government sanctioned murder, and since we are the govt, everytime there is a fedral death penalty, we are all murderers.
It is the premeditated taking of a human life, so what if it is legal murder, it is still murder...how is it NOT murder?
There is a recent addition I have seen floating around where murder is defined with "unlawful" in the definition, but in actuality, that is only for reasons of application of law...doesn't change the end result that a person was killed, and it was done with premeditation.
Instead of IGNORANTLY calling people "murderers", please get a dictionary and then you'll know better. Murder is ILLEGAL. Ooops.
Hands that shed innocent blood are an abomination unto God.
What does that have to do with what the word MURDER means? Please check a dictionary.
When you can prove 100% that God exists, without mentioning the Bible we will discuss what god might find to be an abomination. Until that time you just look silly.
People who keep trying to push god on an issue of legislating law are an abomination to the USA.
Has it EVER occurred to you that not all faiths share your viewpoint? Judaism– which Christians mistakenly believe is just Christianity without Jesus– accepts abortion as necessary and in some cases as a PREFERABLE course of action. Please stop forcing your view of "what God wants" on all Americans.
considering the number of examples where god kills children, why would any christian think their god is against infanticide?
god sent bears to murder 42 children because they made fun of one of his prophets for being bald.
psalm 137 says to dash the children of your enemy's heads against the rocks.
not only does the bible not say a bad word about abortion, it actually has an abortion recipe.
god drowned babies in his great flood.
god drowned pregnant women and their unborn in his great flood.
god killed babies and pregnant women in the cities he utterly destroyed (check Sodom and Gomorrah)
how can any christian say god is against abortion when he gives so many examples of killing children himself?
Answer: it's all pick and choose HYPOCRISY.
Haaaaa, haaaaaaa, haaaaaaa. These are just minor details.... Bootyfunk. God IS Love, my friend. He IS love. The kind of love that needs blood to wash away the sins. Isn't God the best-est?
According to the 1st Commandment, God's primary characteristic is not love, it is jealousy.
Jealousy is an indicator of poor self-esteem and is not the basis for a healthy relationship.
Hardly a becoming trait for an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator.
READ MY LIPS: GOD said "Life begins at CONCEPTION". What part of that do you people not understand? OR is it you go by your selfish rules. That will not get you to heaven. End of story.
1) don't assume everyone wants to go to christian heaven. it sounds like an awful place to spend eternity. i'd rather go to hell and talk to ghandi and john lennon.
2) where exactly in the bible did god say life begins at conception?
You want me to go get the bible and find it! You want to go to hell, that's your prerogative, sure isn't mine. Good Luck, LOL WOW.
You just MADE that up. "End of story".
“I see two problems with heaven and hell. First, heaven supposedly will be full of Christians… so that'll suck. Second, hell will definitely be filled to the brim with "good" Christians and also most likely with creepy Mormons and Scientologists… which will indubitably suck a great deal. So kind of a lose-lose scenario either way.” – LET
yes AG...go to your bible and find it.
By the way, legislating from the bible is illegal, and should be criminal.
I don't give 2 shi.ts what god has to say about anything.
Why didn't you QUOTE the Bible? What verse?
Not sure if trolling or actually that dumb.......
I'm guessing troll but it's hard to guess sometimes as there are people that retarded out there.
As a matter of fact, the Bible doesn't say that life begins at conception.
What is says is that nobody knows when an embryo becomes a person.
"As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything."
– Ecclesiastes 11:5
According to Judaic law (and aren't they the true originators of all the Abrahamic religions?) an unborn child has the status of "potential human life" until the majority of the body has emerged from the mother. Potential human life is valuable, and may not be terminated casually, but it does not have as much value as a life in existence. The Talmud says that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, you cut it up within her body and remove it limb by limb if necessary, because its life is not as valuable as hers. But once the greater part of the body has emerged, you cannot take its life to save the mother's, because you cannot choose between one human life and another.
And lest we forget, God has COMMANDED people to commit abortion, like in Numbers 31 (wherein He also orders Moses and his people to commit r.ape)
But someone told me ACTS saya we don't have to follow that anymore – so god is moral again!
Different flavor, but ultimately the same brand of crazies trying to tell other people what to do because their sky wizard told them so.
This is not a religious issue. It is a human issue that all humane Humanists should agree on.
This is America and it's a free country. If the Christian Taliban want to march and protest anyone having the temerity to differ from their religious views, let them.
I seem to remember you once advocating the abolition of religion. Isn't that a tad hypocritical?
what names have you gone by on this blog?
Psalm 73:2-3, 16-20
"But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked."
"When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form."
The Bible also contains instructions, apparently from God, on how to mix a drink that will cause sterility and obviously an abortion.
" 'Apparently'?!? No, absolutely. God wrote every perfect word in the bible. Each version".
– Topher, LoA, etc
Numbers 5 had that recipe.
9 Happy the one who will seize and dash your infants against the rock!
If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse.
Advocating abortion. What of this poor child being aborted? Don't you care?
Women have the right to decide for themselves. It is NONE of anyone business other then the pregnant woman. I know the anti abortion people will KILL or MURDER if you don't agree with them. I wish they protected the lives of those already born, but they don't. They have one MISSION to control the people.
Too bad there is no way to know for sure how much of the protest is based on trying to keep people from having dirty nasty s.e.x.
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