The Problem with Alabama

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts latey. Just been busy with life — you know how that goes. I have a couple of ideas rattling around in my head right now, so I’ll hopefully shake one of them out into a blog post soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to post this article that a friend pointed me toward today. Many of you probably don’t know, but last week, a federal judge in Mobile, Alabama struck down a state ban on gay marriage, which made us the 37th state to legalize gay marriage. It was great news! However, to no one’s surprise, there’s been a huge outcry about it, and many of the state politicians are pushing hard against it. This article brilliantly captures the way I feel about it:

After same-sex marriage ruling, a question: Are we American? Or just Alabamian?

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54 thoughts on “The Problem with Alabama”

  1. Outstanding article. Welcome back Nate. Your post reminded me of a recent article from The Atlantic regarding nullification.

    “Mike Huckabee suggests that if the justices rule that gay-marriage bans are unconstitutional, states don’t need to listen.

    It’s a ticket to dissolving the union, all in the name of preventing same-sex unions.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/01/nullification-now-coming-to-the-supreme-court/384704/

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  2. I’ll check out that article, thanks! Yeah, those kinds of calls for ignoring the federal government make me really nervous. I’ve been reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s A Team of Rivals, and while I don’t think we’d ever have another actual civil war, I think it’s too serious a topic for politicians and public figures to throw around terms like that so casually.

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  3. Interesting article. It has been my understanding that the USA was created a free society, and a Republic to ensure those freedoms were preserved for all citizens, unless someone’s freewill act infringes upon the freedoms or rights of others.

    Gay marriage seems straight forward for me now: two consenting people partnering with whom they choose and benefiting from this nation’s and states’ tax breaks, and other typical spousal allowances like visitation, insurance, etc…

    But admittedly, being raised a christian, and in a time where most homosexuals remained in the closet for fear of persecution, I initially viewed them as detestable and wicked, like Goliath or the monsters in the dark. As I grew older, i realized they were simply people like the rest of; people with a particular tendency to specific sin, much like i had my tendencies to different sins. I didnt look down on them, but felt pity that they were so compelled to a sinful lifestyle. For me, being hetero, I could leave my lustful, carnal and sinful desires by marrying someone of the opposite sex. In other words, I didn’t part with lust or desire, i simply had a way to indulge “legally. and according to the bible, homosexuals had no such out.

    Now, of course, i don’t view homosexuality as sinful, but natural, even if i still do not understand such an attraction specifically.

    I do think that “marriage” has always meant “a union between a man and a woman.” It’s obvious as you view it through history and I typically don’t like altering definitions, but this is different. But even if one still thinks homosexuality is a sin and therefore same sex marriage, they should be able to see that as members of a free society, the citizens should be free to do as they will as long as it does not infringe upon the rights and freedoms of others, whether you approve of those actions or not.

    in this particular case, letting a man marry another man, or woman marry another woman in no way infringes upon a heterosexual’s rights or freedoms… now, if there was a law that said heterosexuals couldn’t wed, well then, then they’d have something.

    It is like those in Alabama, and elsewhere, that oppose this so strongly care very little for the constitution that they claim to regard so highly. Perhaps they’re only referring to the second amendment.

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  4. William, I suppose you’ve already heard this, but lawmakers in Mississippi want to make the Bible the “Official” State Book. They don’t expect many in the state will oppose the bill. But they would be in a uproar if someone tried to make the Qur’an the Official State Book.

    The state ranks last in nearly every category of well being and it’s not for lack of religion, as they are the most religious state in the union.

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  5. I’d also like to stress that the reason I brought up the bill in Mississippi was that if they can get this law passed (and they probably will) then chances are they will have more of a foothold in instilling biblical ideologies at state level, such as the belief that homosexuality is an abomination.

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  6. Think what you will about gay marriage, or immigration, or God, or atheists, or prison inmates, or black people and white people going to school together, or slavery, or all the other things we have fought the Americansabout over the years.

    Wow. Like, “Hey guys, look at all these times when we’ve been on the wrong side of history.” And presumably(?) most “Alabamians” would side with him on those issues now.

    I don’t think that MyState-ian vs. American thing is even a meme in my state. I guess it’s more common in the south. (Texas comes to mind.)

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  7. That is crazy about MS. Isn’t that in direct opposition to the first amendment? I am not a lawyer, but I have seen my share of LA Law, and it just seems like that even if such a law was passed, that it would be overturned by the supreme court shortly thereafter.

    but again, I’m no lawyer, I’ve just watched them on TV.

    Matlock.

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  8. I think (I could be wrong) that the thing in MS is much like choosing a state bird, state flower, etc. So there’s not necessarily anything binding that would come with it, which is why it wouldn’t run counter to the constitution. But I agree with Neuro that it’s still unfortunate, and some probably would attempt to use it (if it passes) as kind of a backdoor way to gain more support for things like creationism in the schools, etc.

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  9. Objection. I think the strict reading of the constitution would still forbid it. “The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion… ”

    Declaring affiliation of a state or government entity to the bible or any other religion in any way still seems counter the amendment, but I’m no lawyer – not even a tv lawyer.

    But you do make a good point about it being just a mascot.

    Mississippi. Another state that i never want to live in.

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  10. I don’t think that MyState-ian vs. American thing is even a meme in my state. I guess it’s more common in the south. (Texas comes to mind.)

    Yeah, it’s unfortunate. And I don’t want to give the wrong impression — I love living in the South, and there’s a lot of great things about it. The urban areas tend to be more progressive, so it’s not always as bad down here as it’s sometimes portrayed. However, there is still kind of an element of “redneck ignorance” that is really frustrating, as these recent spots on the Daily Show illustrate:

    http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/vho4ny/the-zone-rangers

    http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/ouq3mw/the-unborn-ultimatum

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  11. Yes, it is in direct opposition, but they are using the excuse that it’s just “symbolic”.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2015/01/22/baptists-should-know-better/

    However, does it also not go against the 1st Amendment to have “In God We Trust” on government issued paper currency and coins? Does it go against the 1st Amendment when state tags have “In God We Trust” as default? South Carolina does, and Mississippi is pushing for it. They already have “In God We Trust” posted in all Mississippi classrooms. Is it against the 1st Amendment to have the Pledge of Allegiance say “under god”?

    I think so.

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  12. I will consider that, Neuro. I dont usually get upset (lack of a better word) over the use of god, even though it does leave out the atheists agnostics. Is the generic idea of “god” considered religion? I suppose that maybe it is, but without identifying which god or which religion associated with that god, it’s not imposing too much.

    I suppose that in the USA one would also be free to maintain that their god is no god or that their god is nature or simply a name given to an idea of good for humanity,

    or my favorite, god is the humanist ideal of man and woman. That perfect circle that man and woman should be and must work toward. It encompasses all of humanity or every race and nationality and sex.

    but i realize this is a stretch.

    Religion is hard for people to part with. Although i don’t know why that is, I know that it is. because of that knowledge I am willing to be patient and make concessions… and avoid moving to Mississippi.

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  13. nate, this is a separate issue, but since one of your daily show links discussed it, I decided to comment here on it.

    Obviously, Alabama was using some underhanded means to combat abortion, but if we leave the specifics of that state issue and view abortion on a whole, i can certainly understand people’s opposition to it.

    It’s often portrayed as a fight against women’s rights, but i don’t think that is a fare approach either, and is also underhanded.

    People on both side may argue this incorrectly, but i understand the desire to protect human life, whether it’s in the womb or not, whether it’s young or old, etc. And with children and the unborn, they are human lives that often cannot speak for themselves or defend themselves. To demonize those who try may not be helpful, just like demonizing the 17 year old girl who is seeking an abortion is not helped by name calling or labeling either.

    often issues and problems are not as simple as they may seem.

    Even in the video, the daily show journalist was mockingly asking, “how do you know the fetus is innocent?” Had the old man been on his toes he would have replied, “I don’t, and since we’re a nation that believes in innocent until proven guilty, I think it is prudent to seek legal counsel before we deliver it a death sentence.”

    but these a merely soundbites that don’t do the topic justice.

    I am not opposed to the death sentence to to killing. The killing of innocents and the very young trouble me, but the execution of certain people for select criminal offenses is fine with me. Killing in war or self defense is also fine in the correct setting, in my mind.

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  14. Be careful, William … be verrrry careful. You may have opened a can of worms here.

    Captain Cassidy recently posted something on this. You might want to visit for a very in-depth look at the issue.

    One of the biggest complaints that pro-choice people have is the anti-abortion people also want to shut down Planned Parenthood — where women can go for INFORMATION about preventing pregnancies that they can’t afford or don’t want in lieu of having abortions.

    But, like I said … this is a topic that can definitely raise one’s blood pressure on either side.

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  15. It really is sad. The language they are using to deny these people their rights is the same that was used in the 50’s and 60’s to oppress african americans in the south. If the church cared as much about keeping married hetro couples together as they do keeping homo couples apart they might actually do something for the ‘sanctity’ of marraige.

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  16. Published on Jan 25, 2015 from the American Foundation for Equal Rights

    “There’s a big fight underway right now in Alabama, with a Judge overturning a marriage ban and state officials refusing to obey his order to issue licenses. Anti-gay politicians are threatening to ban all marriage licenses if the Supreme Court rules in favor of equality. And one lawmaker even wants to send clerks to jail if they issue licenses to anyone — gay or straight.”

    For those who prefer to read:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-baume/politician-wants-arrests_b_6543554.html

    I agree It’s an intimidation campaign at taxpayers expense.

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  17. Good points, nan. I do agree that many in the pro-life or anti-abortion camp go too far and are too often underhanded and hateful in their handling the issue. I do not associate with those groups and do mind discussing this issue, but do not want to fight over it – if that makes sense.

    I was speaking more to it all generally and trying to point out that the pro-choice camp can do the same.

    the daily show wasn’t wrong to mock the absurd and inconsistent approach of Alabama in this area, but would have been more fair to scrutinize their positions a bit more too, i think.

    I’ve heard some say that abortion is even necessary to prevent over population or the rise in poor and maltreated populations. But if that;s the way to view it, is it fair to use deaths from natural disasters to criticize presumed deity oversight when we condone the destruction of unborn human lives? I realize there are the circumstances where the life of the mother is at risk, and such scenarios are often referred to in defense of abortion, but is that accurate? Are most abortions performed for that reason?

    I fully support abortion to save the life of the mother. And although I personally would wrestle with it, i wouldn’t condemn others from having an abortion over rape or even birth defect, but is that why most abortions occur?

    I don’t loose sleep over this topic. I am just curious about it. to me, there are inconsistencies on both vocal sides.

    To you, is it as easy as “right to choose,” or is there more to it?

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  18. Oh my, and speaking of intimidation…LOL

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/01/26/alabama-lawmaker-will-expose-marital-affairs-of-family-values-republicans-if-they-keep-attacking-gays/

    “A gay Alabama state representative is warning her Republican colleagues to stop attacking the LGBT community if they don’t want her to reveal their dirty little secrets.

    Patricia Todd made the threat on Facebook after she could no longer tolerate the anti-gay hatred coming out of the mouths of her fellow lawmakers in the statehouse. As leverage, Todd wrote that she intends to name which “family values” Republicans have or are committing adultery against their spouses in their heterosexual marriages.

    “I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about ‘family values’ when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have,” she declared. “I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet out.”

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  19. Guys like Huckabee make bold statements about leaving the union or ignoring federal laws only to pander to their base… or, scarier, they actually think god will preserve them. yikes.

    They, o rat least their constituents, fail to realize the gravity of such moves. if these politicians aren’t careful, they could spur an ignorant base to rise up in defense of their right to oppress others.

    “Why, by today’s liberal standards, there’d be no america at all, as we would not have been allowed to steal it from the indians and mexicans! Hurrah for Dixie!”

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  20. William, yes, a big determining factor in my personal beliefs is the “right to choose.” I just don’t think ANYONE has the right to make decisions for another individual unless they ask for it. In ANY aspect of life.

    Too many anti-abortionists try to make it as though a woman has an abortion just because she doesn’t want a baby. Period. This is sooooo inaccurate. There may be a few (very few) that take that stand, but for most it’s a much more serious issue and a heart-rendering decision that stays with a woman for a long, long time.

    But we’re getting away from the topic of Nate’s post. Apologies, Nate.

    On topic: I tend to think many of the bible-belt states care less about what “America” stands for than what they believe “the bible” dictates. Or at least what they think it dictates.

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  21. “I tend to think many of the bible-belt states care less about what “America” stands for than what they believe “the bible” dictates. Or at least what they think it dictates.”

    I agree, Nan. Your bible-belt states have a high concentration of fundamentalist, and they are indoctrinated to believe that God’s word trumps all. Politicians are experts at emotional manipulation.

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  22. On topic: I tend to think many of the bible-belt states care less about what “America” stands for than what they believe “the bible” dictates. Or at least what they think it dictates.

    Yep, I think you’re right, Nan.

    Neuro, I also saw the Patricia Todd thing — I thought it was hilarious! 🙂

    As far as abortion is concerned, I agree with what Nan just said about it. I don’t know of anyone who favors abortions — it’s just that it’s way too big of a decision for anyone other than the parents (specifically, the mother) to make.

    And as for the death penalty, I’m completely opposed to it. Our justice system is just too imperfect to take someone’s life. War, in my opinion, is different because a soldier is having to defend against someone else who is actively trying to take his life. I feel the same way about self defense. But when we’ve arrested someone, and they’re locked away, I don’t think it’s right to take their life. We’ve made mistakes in the past that have killed innocent people. It also takes so long for a death sentence to be carried out, that I worry we’re not even killing the same person, if that makes sense.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts on our little detour. I now return you to the program already in progress. 🙂

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  23. “I tend to think many of the bible-belt states care less about what “America” stands for than what they believe “the bible” dictates. Or at least what they think it dictates.”

    it’s an odd thing, because you’re right, yet when it’s convenient, they’ll chant alongside the constitution in an almost paradoxical fashion.

    back to the abortion issue, let me say that I respect your opinion and even agree with you on how many and maybe even most “pro-lifers” treat the issue. I will say, from a certain perspective, that having an abortion is making a decision with the life of another human. I suppose that the scared preteen who delivered her baby in an ally or theater restroom and leaves it in the trash is going through a very difficult time as well, and while we may sympathize with the girl, we still draw a line at those actions.

    Please don’t take this as me picketing abortion clinics or condemning those who are for or who get abortions, i’m just trying to think over the issue from every angle. I lean toward “pro-life,” but do not associate with all that the term has come to imply.

    I think these are complicated issues that are difficult to articulate and ofetn lead to conetntious divisions – i want no part in that, on this issue.

    Pro-choicers aren’t simply whores who hate babies, and pro-lifers aren’t simply old men who rage war against women. it’s complicated.

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  24. it’s complicated.” You summed it up perfectly.

    I’ve found complicated issues are fodder for debate on blogs, even though they often rile people up and can even cause hard feelings. But since anonymity generally reigns, I doubt the discussions will be stopping anytime soon. 😉

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  25. nate, sorry i keep chasing these tangents, but they’re all so interesting to me, but the death penalty…

    yes, I agree, there have been far too many put to death or sentenced to death only to find out that they were innocent. What if, though, there was absolutely no doubt, like where there were video evidence from multiple witnesses (phones, surveillance, cameras, etc), DNA evidence, you know, iron clad.

    and say this evidence proved that the individual performed several horrible acts, like rape, murder, torture – vile stuff. I’d be down with putting him/her down. I dont think they could be trusted in society ever again and to me, have lost their use in society. I wouldn’t be for torturing anyone, but a quick and event-less execution.

    So I guess I’m not opposed to the idea, but i’d want irrefutable evidence for very heinous actions.

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  26. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ is correct,
    god does not belong on our money or in our silly little national anthems or pledges of allegiance or official state books.

    it is unconstitutional.

    jeezzuuusss occasionally appears on a grilled cheese sandwich, but he never appears in the constitution.

    the “Christian nation” meme is so prevalent in the south.
    (I’m in Florida, the craziest of the crazy).

    at least now in florida gays can marry, but they did everything they could to stop it.

    I’m going to get married as many times as I can. to whomever will have me.
    and divorce, divorce, divorce.
    I’m going to force Christian bakeries and Christian wedding photographers to provide me services or it’s Judge Judy time for them..

    but I refuse to have an abortion.

    🙂

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  27. “I dont think they could be trusted in society ever again and to me, have lost their use in society. I wouldn’t be for torturing anyone, but a quick and event-less execution.”</cite?

    William, would you put the mentally disabled down because they have lost or never were useful to society? Elderly on disability?

    I agree that people like this should be kept away from harming society, but I also believe that people like this are mentally disabled — as the brain research shows. It's just that their disability or damage is affecting another part of their brain associated with the ability to have empathy and morally reason.

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  28. hmmmmm….

    N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ,

    I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been told I should be “put to death” because I am gay.
    even my own “christian” brother told me on xmas eve one year in front of my entire family:, “if I ever have any queer children I’m going to take them outside and shoot them in the head”

    as William said in an earlier comment:
    “But admittedly, being raised a christian, and in a time where most homosexuals remained in the closet for fear of persecution, I initially viewed them as detestable and wicked, like Goliath or the monsters in the dark.

    sadly, a great number of people still feel that way.
    I still hear it everyday, mainly from christians.

    it’s what makes me so “in your face”,
    I’m more than happy to give them the abomination with the reprobate mind.
    it scares them,
    but it’s fun for me.

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  29. It had to be tough dealing with that kind of discrimination. I admire people like you who were brave enough to be themselves, regardless of what the jackasses do. I’m glad the tide’s slowly, but finally turning your way. 🙂

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  30. Neuro, I see what you’re saying. It is also easy for me to condemn to death a faceless person whom i do not know beyond the horrors for which they may be found guilty.

    I would certainly not be opposed to sparing one’s life for any reason, but I do not understand why we’d be fine to let a mother decide to terminate a human life that depends on her in the most vulnerable way, but then say that we’re vehemently opposed to the executions of those who have committed unspeakable horrors to other people.

    It seems like a contradiction to me.

    We can sympathize with the cannibal rapist and spare his life, making the victims endure the knowledge that the monster in their lives and is being protected, etc, etc, but a 19 year old woman is allowed to terminate her child (as long as it’s unborn) for any reason?

    And a person who can kill and mutilate another human without remorse is a terrifying thing. What can be done for such a person? Even if they could be “fixed” who’d trust them? And if you dont know that raping a 12 year old boy after you’ve killed him is wrong, then you dont have a place in society.

    the elderly? are they inflicting absolute and undeniable terrors on others? if so, then yes, I’d sign for their execution.

    But that’s what i’m talking about, and I thought I was fairly clear there. People who commit heinous acts, without remorse, and who seem to enjoy the pain and suffering of others. I would not be for the death penalty for ole thing.

    But if you’re for abortion of any kind, for any reason, then why not the elderly too, or toddlers and infants? I realize this isn’t really a fare question, i just think these questions make more sense alongside abortion than they do capital punishment.

    But again, let me say that while i have strong opinions on these topics, I do not wield them aggressively and I understand that I may be incorrect (although i don’t think I am) and I am content with differing opinions on these and can understand to some degree why there are differing opinions.

    paul, i’m sorry for the hardships and rudeness you’ve endured. I must admit that I’ve made many off color remarks about homosexuals in the past, and it’s something i feel terrible about now. I can say, and it’s likely little consolation, that I have never mistreated a homosexual for being a homosexual. It was meeting some or realizing that people i knew were actually homosexuals that awakened me to the fact that people are people. sorry.

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  31. Paul, I can’t fully comprehend the hurt, harm, and betrayal you’ve experienced in your lifetime. While there are still people with the brain of a slimy slug tying to keep the waters muddied, you and the LGBT community should be very proud of the progress you’ve made. You’re exceptionally well organized, strong and most of us are standing by your side. 🙂

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  32. William,

    I think the difference between a mother getting an abortion and a murderer, is that the fetus’s life depends completely on the mother until its birth.

    Let’s say a 17 year old girl finds out she’s pregnant, and it’s still very early on. She may not view that fetus as a baby yet. Obviously, there’s a lot of development that must take place before a child is viable, so this girl may just view it as the potential for a child. And really, until higher form brain functions develop, it’s hard to fault her for that view.

    So now she has some options. She can have the baby and keep it, which will dramatically change the arc of her life. Maybe that’s the best case scenario, and maybe she should just suck it up and face all the consequences that come with having a child. But we don’t know her family situation, economic situation, etc.

    She could also have the baby and give it up for adoption. Of course, that brings on the same physical discomforts and risks associated with carrying a pregnancy to full term. There’s also the possibility that she misses out on school or work, depending on her circumstances. There’s the social stigma. And there’s also the pain of giving up a child to someone else.

    Finally, she could choose to abort the pregnancy. This is a really difficult decision, since it dictates that potential for a child will never be a child at all. But it would leave the rest of her life intact.

    In short, there’s no easy decision here — every path is a bad one. It’s just a matter of picking the least worst.

    But I think one of the keys is to realize that not everyone views a fetus as a child. You and I don’t think it’s murder when millions of sperm die each time a man ejaculates. Nor do we think it’s murder when a woman has her period. However, some religious people do seem to view it that way, since they condemn any form of birth control. I don’t think it’s murder to take the morning after pill, because a fertilized egg is still just a cell. And as it progresses to blastocyst, then to zygote, and to fetus, different reasonable people disagree over which phase constitutes “human life” and which does not.

    I used to think that if a woman was okay with having an abortion, she should be okay with giving a baby up for adoption. But I don’t think everyone views it that way. If a woman doesn’t view the fetus as an actual child yet, it might actually be harder for her to give up a baby for adoption than to have an abortion.

    It’s just a really, really complicated issue.

    It’s hard for me to imagine a circumstance under which I would think abortion is the right decision, unless the life of the mother was at very high risk. But I also don’t feel that I can make that decision for everyone, just as I don’t want Catholics determining whether or not I can use birth control.

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  33. William, I appreciate your honesty, and I can understand your opinion about abortion. But what I also understand that most who oppose abortion simply don’t see the bigger picture. And I will also say that most who want justice by death also don’t see the bigger picture.. For example, every 5 seconds a child dies from starvation.

    You have to keep in mind that abortion will never go away. It’s been practiced throughout history. We have two choices. Safe or unsafe abortions. The World Heath Organization states:

    “Ending the silent pandemic of unsafe abortion is an urgent public-health and human-rightsimperative. Access to safe, legal abortion is a fundamental right of women, irrespective of where they live. The underlying causes of morbidity and mortality from unsafe abortion today are not blood loss and infection but, rather, apathy and disdain toward women.”

    Adding to the bigger picture, children who can’t be properly taken care of will most often succumb to much suffering, brain atrophy, and have a significant chance of pons dysfunction, causing attachment disorders, if brought to full term and then placed in orphanages.

    We are not prepared to provide millions of well staffed orphanages throughout the world that will give these children the necessary nurture they will need so that their brain will develop normally. Simply providing them food and shelter will not provide proper brain development.

    What’s more humane? Here’s what happened when the leader of one country banned contraceptives and abortion:

    ABCNEWS 20/20 first reported on Romanian orphans in 1990 after a revolution overthrew the communist ruler and uncovered his bizarre plan to force women to have at least five children for the state.

    The result was a proliferation of babies in overcrowded inhumane institutions. In one orphanage 20/20 visited in 1990, babies were stacked on the shelves of a cart like loaves of bread. Many babies lie in cribs sucking on propped up bottles with very little human contact. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=124078

    The result of this forced-birth dictator was over population, a depletion of resources, starvation, and economic collapse.

    Parent couldn’t provide the necessary care for their children. Most of these children had developed an attachment disorder. “Behaviors observed include poor peer relationships, hyper vigilance, anxiety, destruction to self or others, superficially engaging phoniness, indiscriminate affection with strangers, extreme measures to gain and exert control, lying, extreme anger, clinginess, manipulation, violence, poor impulse control, lack of conscience, poor causal thinking, abnormal eating patterns, lack of eye contact except when lying, cruelty to animals, and learning delays or disabilities.”

    What’s more humane? This isn’t even addressing a women’s right over her own body, which Nan has already shared with you. Women know how many children they can safely raise. Spontaneous abortions occur far more often but rarely is this addressed.

    Anyway, William, this is definitely OT. In closing, I will state that I am well read on the subject, and could share massive amounts of research showing the social ills, not to mention enormous suffering, when women are forced to go full term and give birth.

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  34. Nate,

    I get what you’re saying. I’m not condemning anyone. My main point was that I can also sympathize with those who oppose abortion, even though I don’t agree with them 100% on all that they stand for or in how they oppose a different view. I agree that it is complex and not cut and dry, but then isn’t capital punishment too, yet you don’t seem to see leeway there?

    I should apologize in advance for the length of this, it’s just hard to say in few words.

    And I realize that at the very least our judicial system needs reform, so I am not speaking on the specifics.

    And I can get abortion when it’s preserving the life and health of the mother, as I have stated. I understand the idea behind aborting an unborn human before it’s a child or baby or whatever we may call it when it’s a young girl who may miss out on school or have to endure ridicule or a difficult in raising a baby by herself when she is without the means to do so. But while I can comprehend why some may make that choice for those reasons, doesn’t mean I agree that they are good reasons. I just don’t view them that harshly when there is some semblance of sense behind it .

    A mother with an infant could make the same argument, though. Maybe she tried to preserve its life and didn’t abort, but it’s just not working out. And maybe she tried to adopt it out, but there’s no takers and it’s so difficult to do it on her own, etc, etc, etc. It’s her baby, why cant she have a choice now?

    I think we’re all happy to live in a society that protects our lives and those of our children. Maybe a fetus isn’t a child. Dying sperm and dying eggs cant be prevented, for one. It’s gonna happen whether I jack off into a sock or not, and eggs are gonna get wasted whether a woman aborts or not. Plus, a sperm will never mature into a human life without an egg, and an egg will never mature into a human life without a sperm, so I think it’s pretty easy to understand why some believe that life begins when a sperm enters the egg, but I am not a biologist, so I can’t say for certain.

    Whether fetus, or baby, or zygote or teen or adult, I think we’re still dealing with a human. I have no doubt it’s easier to terminate that life when you don’t see it, or don’t put a face to it – just like it’s easier for me to say I’m fine with executions when I don’t personally know the murderer or serial rapist cannibal.

    It’s not easy, but it’s not easy for either side. I can sympathize. I would not lynch a young girl for making what was no doubt a very tough decision, and I would not mistreat her, but I still don’t agree with the decision. And I wouldn’t lynch an old man for trying to pass any law he could to prevent the death of an unborn human that cannot speak for its own defense… especially when he’s doing so against people who condemn the death penalty for repeat and horrifically brutal violent offenders.

    And if I willingly do something that has a very likely effect, then I must be prepared to deal with that. Personally, and you may feel differently, but if I am willingly having sex, and then a pregnancy ensues, I feel like it’s pretty cheap to terminate the resulting life because it would just be too much trouble to deal with. I realize this statement will aggravate some, but I don’t even mean this as a catchall for every abortion – I do not.

    And neuro, I may not see all of the big picture, but saying that children die anyways doesn’t clear it up. Sure abortions will always happen – just like murder, theft, child abuse and rape. I do not lose sleep over abortion and I do not lose sleep over starving children in china and I sleep just fine whether there is capital punishment or not – really.

    I am all for making things safer. But again, if you consider the other side, aren’t they trying to make things safer for the unborn human? I get that many of them also make things unsafe for the woman, those who would want to prohibit a woman from aborting even when her life were at risk, and so on. I do not get that – but just like I sympathize and still not agree with the young pregnant girl, I can still do the same for the harshest of pro-lifers.

    I agree with contraception, etc, and I also think people should still exercise a little more self control too.

    I don’t know what will solve all the world’s problems and I tend to think that they won’t ever be solved completely. It’s like my laundry though; I wash and I wash but I never run out of dirty clothes. Should I throw my hands up and say “what’s the point?” or , “I guess I’ll just have to wear dirty clothes?” I think it’s just the nature of work, there will always be plenty to go around. Even if abortion will always be around, that fact doesn’t suddenly make it okay, or else every crime would be overlooked.

    And I can’t speak for orphans or fetuses, but for myself, I’d rather be alive in an overcrowded shelf that killed and thrown in the trash.

    Does understanding a psychopath’s brain malfunctions make him any less dangerous? Does it undo the terrors he may have done? I don’t mind if we, as a society, decide to eliminate capital punishment all together, but I also do not mind if it stays, although I’d like it to be reformed if it does.

    You can say what you like, but violence is sometimes necessary and can be eaffective.

    My opinions on these matters are not militant. I just think I see some level of hypocrisy. I mean, jails are overcrowded too, but who’s using that as a justification for the death penalty among the loudest pro-choicers?

    And before anyone says that the opposite is true, let me go ahead say that I disagree. A new human life and an axe murder; Who’s more innocent and who’s more guilty? Who’s more worthy of death and who’s more worthy of life? But, as has been pointed out, death happens, so I don’t lose sleep over it. I have my opinions on them and I believe they have been formed carefully with thoughtful consideration. From my perspective many people have lost sight of the “big picture” and I would disagree that it is me.

    And neuro, while the issues relate to one another, they are separate issues; child welfare and abortion. It’s a poor excuse to write abortion off as justified by saying that in some situations if a child is not aborted then they’ll have a bad life. Is that why all abortions happen? To save a mother’s life and to prevent the children from being abused after they’re born?
    You know, some people are killed for good reasons, so maybe we should justify all killings? I don’t think this is looking at the big picture.

    For arguments sake, let’s just say that abortion for the life of the mother and to prevent gross over population and child endangerment are all justified. Would you or nan or nate be content to allow a law to only stop the abortions for those who routinely have consensual sex, and have the financial means and family support to raise a child, but just didn’t want the hassle of having to deal with dirty diapers or miss out of sewing her wild oats?

    I just do not see how such an instance is any better than the anthony chick who killed her little girl or in anyone else who kills their children in the bathtub.

    And a woman should be allowed to do whatever she wants to or with her body, as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights, freedom or welfare of another – just like with anything else. I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about whether anyone should have the right to kill another human life for any ole reason.

    Let me reiterate that I can sympathize with many on this and that I do not advocate the harm of any for making difficult decisions. I realize they are very difficult, and they are complex for both sides.

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  35. “if you consider the other side, aren’t they trying to make things safer for the unborn human?”

    You nailed it. It’s about the unborn. Once they are born……you get my point. The unborn has more value than the born. Look around you.

    Even in the U.S., there is a strong movement to remove or greatly de-fund the social safety net that would provide for these children.

    “And I can’t speak for orphans or fetuses, but for myself, I’d rather be alive in an overcrowded shelf that killed and thrown in the trash.”

    In essence, that’s really what it boils down to with many. It is about you, how you feel, not the unborn. You are empathizing, seeing yourself in them.

    “A new human life and an axe murder; Who’s more innocent and who’s more guilty?”

    That axe murder could have been, and mostly likely was a victim of a brain injury, severe mental illness, a neurological disorder, or pon dysfunction from neglect or damage to the brain stem (common), and there’s a good chance this occurred when he/she was a child. Many times these anti-social symptoms don’t manifest for years even decades.

    From large numbers of such scans, murderers had a common pattern of functional loss in the orbital and ventromedial cortex of the frontal lobe, the anterior-medial temporal lobe especially in the amygdala, and adjacent limbic cortices such as the anterior cingulated cortex.

    Do you think that we can better address this problem through education and prevention or by the barbaric methods some states (usually the most religious) are currently using?

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  36. Neuro,

    yes, child hunger and child abuse, etc are huge issues. Are you saying that abortion is justifiable because it may limit the number of born children that are harmed?

    And yes, I try to relate to others and fetuses by using empathy. Do you have a better way? and how do you try to relate to the fetus, or do you avoid doing so, that helps you deem abortion justifiable?

    I can imagine that those who commit very terrible actions likely have something very wrong with them, whether it be by injury or something else. I feel bad for them. My willingness to let them die for committing atrocities isn’t solely for punishment, but for the extermination and removal of a real threat. and again, i am not for it in any ole case, but even if severe brain damage were the leading cause, I dont think that changes their potential for additional horror.

    I do think that better education and prevention are needed and welcome, but i think we can do both. Improve our education and prevention, and for those who still rape and kill whom ever and were their faces as hats, we execute.

    and I noticed when commenting on the axe murderer, you didn’t say a word about a fetus. Why? in your mind, it is more justifiable to execute the fetus than the axe murderer?

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  37. Let me reiterate that I can sympathize with many on this and that I do not advocate the harm of any for making difficult decisions. I realize they are very difficult, and they are complex for both sides.

    This is the key right here. It’s not about trying to convince one another of our particular take on the subject, it’s just understanding that different people come to different conclusions. That’s why I have the position of keeping abortions safe and legal — it should be up to individuals to decide how to navigate that very tricky situation.

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  38. it is more justifiable to execute the fetus than the axe murderer?

    Neither should be executed. The axe murderer, while a danger to society, can likely be dealt with in another manner that won’t terminate his life; it might even help lead to some rehabilitation.

    The fetus can’t survive without the mother’s body. If we remove all emotion from the situation, the fetus is basically a parasite. We don’t want the fetus to die, but is it right for society to decide what to do with the mother’s body? How can that be anyone’s decision but hers? Hopefully, there’s a compromise that can be reached and she’ll carry it to term. But in cases where she’s unwilling to do so, what do we do?

    The axe murderer’s life or death, on the other hand, doesn’t affect anyone else’s. Whether he’s alive or dead, it can’t bring back the person he murdered, nor does it materially effect anyone else’s life.

    And again, some people don’t even concede that a fetus should be fully considered human life yet, especially in the very early stages.

    It’s just a really complex issue.

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  39. “Why? in your mind, it is more justifiable to execute the fetus than the axe murderer?”

    William, I already explained, though not comprehensively, why abortion can be more humane. Prevention is the best way to go, by far, but pro-birthers are doing their damndest to interfere with that, too. Abortion drops dramatically with the implementation of comprehensive sex education in schools and universal access to ALL birth control.

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  40. William, I “hear” you. I understand where you’re coming from. But at the same time, I can’t in any way see how you can (not that you are) dismiss the image that Victoria posted. What is more humane? To abort a child that a woman knowingly is unable to care for … or allow that child to be born and end up as this one?

    As I previously stated, abortion is NOT an issue that should be decided by ANYONE other than the woman. It really doesn’t matter what you or I or any other person thinks. And this is what makes my blood boil. If a woman does not believe in abortion, then fine. Go forward with the pregnancy and deal with the consequences. But don’t tell me or any other woman that I must do the same. It is a PERSONAL decision … not one that is made by other people.

    BTW, sometime back I wrote a post about a woman who killed her babies and I asked this question — was it more humane (since apparently she didn’t want them) to have killed them as (undisputed) living, breathing human children … or to have aborted them as (arguably human) zygotes?

    And finally, as Victoria says, if the pro-lifers want to end abortion, then why don’t they champion the sexual education of young girls and boys and support the access to birth control?

    As for the death penalty. I really have mixed feelings on this. It’s difficult for me to think about one human being torturing and killing another and then allowing that person to continue his/her life. I do support rehabilitation, but unfortunately, it’s not practiced to any degree — and further, it doesn’t work on everybody because, as Victoria has suggested, individual brain chemistry. I think the whole idea behind the death penalty is our culture feels “someone” should be made to pay for wrongs that are afflicted on us or our loved ones. And unfortunately, this outlook isn’t going to change anytime soon.

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  41. “This is the key right here. It’s not about trying to convince one another of our particular take on the subject, it’s just understanding that different people come to different conclusions. That’s why I have the position of keeping abortions safe and legal — it should be up to individuals to decide how to navigate that very tricky situation.” – nate

    I can agree with this, but only in the way that acknowledges I realize it’s necessary to compromise in a peaceful society.

    And sure an axe murderer could be dealt with besides executing him/her. Isn’t that true for anyone and even the unborn? If an axe murderer is left alive, there is an effect. We can lock him up and prevent him from others again maybe, and his life wont bring back the lives of those killed, but tax dollars will be spent, and those entrusted to care for him will be in the presence of constant danger and I’m sure I could think of other effects too. But sure, the axe murder doesn’t live in a womb.

    And woman’s body argument is just sad to me and only a distraction. Yes, the unborn depends on its host mother while it grows in the womb. Children depend on their mothers once they’re out of the womb, but admitted not quite as much or to the same level. But an unborn human is vastly different from a fingernail or limb.

    Are you opposed to charging a murderer with dual homicide if he kills a pregnant woman? Or should the try and find out what the woman thought about her unborn before they bring charges?

    And an unborn human is diffidently human and it’s definitely alive. The definitions are easy to look up, but if someone has difficulty in knowing, I do not currently feel like I do. If it’s not human, what is it? if it’s not living, then is it dead like hair or fingernails?

    I would not press this, but there have been some states that have tried to make a pregnant woman view an ultrasound before she can have an abortion. Why? For the same reasons a woman who wants an abortion doesn’t want to see it – it looks like a person.

    While it is complex, we can make many things more complex than what they are.

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  42. “William, I already explained, though not comprehensively, why abortion can be more humane.” – neuro

    in that case I already explained why executing the violently dangerous is also more humane. Cutting them away like a cancer prohibits them from inflicting more harm, and is better than cramming them in underfunded and overcrowded prisons.

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  43. “What is more humane? To abort a child that a woman knowingly is unable to care for … or allow that child to be born and end up as this one?” – nan

    If those are the only two options, then like you say, it’s an easy selection – I just don’t think those are the only two options, although they are often presented as being that way.

    You do make excellent points on woman’s rights, etc, but I still don’t know. In every other instance we don’t give people that choice with their children. A zygote is human, as long as we’re talking about human zygotes, but it would be better to kill it off that early than to prolong a terrible life only to kill it miserably anyways – just like I think it would be better for a journalist to killed quickly with a bullet while in Syria than to be captured, mistreated and beheaded later. If those were the only two options.

    Whether we’re talking about abortion or the death penalty, I think we all agree to some degree on the good and bad of it. I do not align myself with mainstream or prominently vocal views of either topic on either side, just to be clear.

    Contraception should be available. It’s a no-brainer.

    When people justify abortion, it’s typically by using the “woman’s life” or “that the child is being saved from some cruel existence.” Okay, fine. Let’s allow all those. But that’s not what everyone wants, they want even the privileged, whose lives aren’t in danger to be able to make the choice to end the life that depends on her the most. Easy for me to say since I’m not a woman, and it’s easy to think it’s easy for me since it’s impossible for me to be a woman now.

    “Do what she wants with her body,” I feel like it’s a crock. That’s not what’s being talked about, but I think we have to make it about that and we have to turn our eyes from ultrasounds for reasons that would clear this up. Kids are hassles, I get that, I live that. That’s not all they are, but they do reduce one’s freedom. We’re talking about human offspring and life.

    And If a woman was trying to kill herself, I’d try to stop her. If she was trying to cut herself, I’d try to stop her. Wouldn’t you, or would you say, “a woman should be free to do what she wants with her own body?”

    Abortion is legal, and it’s gonna stay that way. I’m not gonna picket. I’m not gonna throw stones or lose sleep. I’m not gonna treat someone who gets an abortion as a vagrant, but I still don’t buy the excuses. They don’t seem consistent to me.

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  44. China, together with Iran, North Korea, Yemen and the US (the only G7 country to still execute people) carried out the most executions last year.

    Capital punishment does not work. There is a wealth of mounting evidence that proves this fact. The death penalty, both in the U.S. and around the world, is discriminatory and is used disproportionately against the poor, minorities and members of racial, ethnic and religious communities.

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  45. except that dead people tend not to hurt anyone any more. And we do executions stupidly. We wait and wait and wait, spend and spend and spend.

    If there were a man convicted by indisputable evidence and he was executed the next day for the cost of a rope, then that solves several problems.

    But again, I dont mind foregoing executions. I’m fine with eliminating the entire practice, it’s just that in some circumstances i dont object.

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  46. thanks N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ,
    I am proud of the advances that the lgbtq community has made.
    we are a strong bunch of cookies and as americans we know “you gotta fight, for your right….to PAAAAAARTY”

    Like

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