Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Rantings and Ravings, But Not Really

When did Pro-Choice automatically equate abortion? A woman choosing to keep her baby rather than abort it is still exercising "choice."
Duh.
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To the EPA and others who think Utah's inversions are a result of massive pollution because of all those breeding Mormons and their gazillion cars, please read this:

Here's a news story I read recently:
"Smog smearing a wet, gray blanket over the Great Salt Lake Valley will get worse before it gets better — and no telling when it will get better, weather observers predicted Wednesday. … Meanwhile, Wednesday ground traffic was still slow and air movement in and out of the Salt Lake City Airport was at a halt."
Here's another: "Thick, murky, undulating fog socked in the Salt Lake Valley Monday, causing numerous traffic accidents and shutting down air traffic at the Salt Lake Airport all morning. … Several planes hovered over the airport some time before going on to alternate airports."
And here's a third: "Even London hardly boasts of thicker ground clouds than nature has laid over Salt Lake and much of Utah for the past three days."
I said I read them recently. I did not say they were written recently, although they could have been. It's hard to know what the skies will be like Sunday morning, but from where I sit as I write, David Copperfield couldn't have done a better job of making the mountains disappear.
The first quote came from the Deseret News on Nov. 29, 1950. It went on to say several more bad days were expected.
The second one was from Dec. 6, 1965. That year, a prisoner tried to escape under the cloak of bad air. It was a good idea, except that Dr. Brian Moench, president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, said recently that running outdoors in this type of gunk is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes. The prisoner was caught fairly quickly, wheezing, no doubt.
The third quote is from Feb. 3, 1931. Later in that same article it said, "The present record for number of days with dense fog is 23, established during the winter of 1876-77."
In case you haven't figured it out, the point is that bad winter air has been a part of Wasatch Front life for a long time. The only thing that changes are the creative ways reporters try to describe it.

*Well, boy howdy! That both makes me sad (do we honestly think we can change this?) and confused (wait, can't we change this? My asthma wants us to change this!) at the same time.
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To the fans of Al Gore:

The Associated Press
The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from [U.S.] Consul [George] Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.
Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the Gulf Stream still very warm.
Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.
— The foregoing AP article was published in The Washington Post on Nov. 2, 1922.
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It's been a while since I've done some "controversial" stuff on my blog. Not sure if I'm up for it. But with great bravery (and some trepidation and ready to hit the delete button if necessary), I say...

Discuss.

14 comments:

Gio, Judi and Boys said...

not gonna comment on any of this...can't deal with politics today...i have my own worries..just wanted to tell you that you looked happy on sunday at church.

Julie P said...

Cuteness with the header.
1. Exactly. I've become very, very passionately pro-life the past 2 years, though, so maybe I'm the wrong person to comment!

2. I saw your intro to that, and honestly, I will likely get mad reading it. So I won't! (how's THAT for pro-choice?) :)

3. Love it. Do you know my favorite radio talk show host Dennis Prager? I don't know if he's on the radio in UT, but you can stream him online. He has a LOT to say about this.

Alison Wonderland said...

He he.

And for the record, I have no problem with the idea that the earth is getting warmer, I just have a problem with the idea that I'm causing it. Doesn't everything move in cycles?

lifeofdi said...

That is what pro choice people have been pointing out all along. We aren't pro abortion. We don't think that everyone should go have a couple of abortions for kicks and giggles. n fact, every pro choicer I know is totally in favor of reducing the number of abortions by reducing unwanted pregnancies. However, we are in favor of women being able to make their own reproductive decisions, whatever those decisions may be. Hence the name pro choice. Women choose to have abortions or carry pregnancies to term for a variety of reasons and those choices should not be completely fettered.

I guess the issue I have with many people who do not support abortion is their unwillingness to follow through with their beliefs. If abortion is murder then you should support putting those who get and perform abortions in prison or on death row. And if it is murder, why would it be justified in any case other than a severe health risk to the mother (so the abortion would be self defense)? Because whether or not it's rape or incest, you're still murdering a baby and how could that be justified if you believe abortion is murder?

By the way, this is Becky's little sister Dianne. I am coming out of the blog stalking closet.

I'll leave the other two bits of the post alone although I think your attitude on them is irresponsible, but I couldn't let the top one go unaddressed.

For anyone who cares, here are two posts on my blog more fully explaining my pro choice opinions.

http://lifeofdi.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/bwahaha/

http://lifeofdi.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/more-serious-topics-rawr/

Cheryl said...

lifeofdi-

Yes, but what about the choice to have sex? That's where it should begin. Rape and incest, of course, aren't a result of choice, but if you've made a choice to have sex, then you need to deal with the result. That's where I have a problem with it. Women crying "it's my right!" but where was the sexual responsibility in the first place?

"Reproductive freedom" --a term I've heard thrown around --is such a misleading term. Freedom to do what? Sexuality comes with great responsibility. In fact, if we want to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies? Let's try something totally shocking: chastity.

P.S. Glad to see you delurking, Dianne! :)

Ann said...

Dianne, I just wanted to point out that Cheryl's opinion on the second 2 points is only irresponsible if she really does absolutely nothing to try to limit her "carbon footprint." And I don't know where she stands on that, so I won't speak for her. (Although I do know she owns a Prius.) ;)

One can have the opinion that global warming is happening JUST BECAUSE IT'S HAPPENING, not because humans are creating it, and that doesn't make them irresponsible. I believe that the earth was given to us as a gift, along with the plants and animals and everything in it. With that gift comes great responsibility. I believe that it is our duty to take care of that gift. So I try very hard to limit my carbon footprint where and how I can. I'm certainly not perfect, and there's more that I could be doing, but I do a lot more than most people I know.

And the abortion thing is always a touchy subject, but I agree with Cheryl in that the CHOICE comes BEFORE the pregnancy. (Except in the cases of incest and rape, as she stated.)

Di said...

I still don't understand how one can justify what they believe is murder even if the sex isn't consensual. I'm sure there are horrible emotional consequences for the victim, but how does that make adding murder onto the equation any better?

Then with consensual sex, I totally agree that there are a lot of people who have sex without fully considering the consequences. I can somewhat understand your position there. But what about people using contraception, what about committed/married couples using contraception? They are doing their best to prevent pregnancy. Or how about a woman whose partner sabotages her contraception? It happens. Even if you say they should be prepared for the consequences of an unintended pregnancy, there really are a multitude of reasons why someone might decide abortion is the decision they should make.

But even with all of that, one of the blogs I referenced above explores the enforcement issues. If only medically necessary or rape/incest abortions are allowed, how do you determine that? Will a woman have to undergo a medical examination or file a police report before they will say she was raped? What if the rape was by a spouse? Does that change anything? Will DNA testing be required to determine paternity in cases of incest? What about genetic defects?

Finally, you never address the punishment issue. Most pro life people I know do not think we should imprison potential mothers and doctors. WHY NOT? By your logic, they are murderers. Even worse, these are premeditated murders. I guess you might get off on an insanity plea for the mothers citing the stress of an unintended pregnancy. But probably not. And the doctors definitely know what they are doing. We convict plenty of people who murder others when they think they are justified. So if we should not imprison them, why not? And do you have any enforcement solutions?

About reproductive freedom. I don't think it's a misleading term at all. It encompasses the ability of a woman to choose her partner, whether or not to use contraception, abortion, the access to information about reproductive services and access to those services and freedom from coercion about such issues. Just because you don't like how some people use the freedom, doesn't mean the term is misleading.

Now, about the air/global warming thing, I think I worded my first comment badly. I have absolutely no knowledge of how Cheryl goes about her environmental business. I'm pretty sure I haven't even talked to you in 10 plus years. But the way those points were worded came across to me like, "It's always been a problem. It will always be a problem and/or will fix itself given time." which I think is irresponsible. Even if these problems aren't human-caused, I think people use that as license to treat the earth like trash, when I think we should generally do what we can to be nice to the planet, whether or not it will cause the oceans to rise and Utah to become even more desert-y than it is.

Cheryl said...

Umm...kay.

I never said they were murderers. I never even said I was pro-life or pro-choice or "kill-'em-all". This was your assumption. So by "they", do you mean all religious types? Do you mean those who protest? Do you mean right-wing conservatives?

My personal opinion:
Women who get pregnant, regardless of how, when, or where have two amazing, amazing options:
1. Have the baby and raise it.
2. Give the baby to someone who wants it.

Examples: My friend was raped by someone she didn't know. Everyone told her to abort it. She was 19 years old. She chose to keep him. She raised him; her future husband accepted him. That was over 20 years ago.

A single mother of two got pregnant with her boyfriend/fiance who ended up in jail. Everyone told her to abort her baby. She chose to give him up for adoption instead, even though she had two other children. My family relative was overjoyed to adopt this baby. He is now almost 5 years old.

As far as murdering goes? That just sounds like a desire to catch people in their beliefs and their words, as if all things are black and white. Not all things are black and white --I'll be the first to admit it. But that doesn't change the fact that there are two different --and much better, imho --choices than abortion.

As far as my carbon footprint goes? I've got a blog post coming up about that later tonight...after the weight loss one!

Janelle said...

I have a friend who had an abortion at 15. She was driven to another state by her boyfriend to get the abortion and absolutely no notice was given to her parents. Despite having no interaction with any church for over 25 years, and may not even believe in God, she still feels sharply the pain of her decision.

I am thankful that in our doctrine there is a distinction between calculated murderers (no forgiveness) and women and their partners who have an abortion (forgiveness is possible.) She has now convinced herself she is a murderer. Satan sure is sneaky, he told her that it would be too much shame to have a baby in high school before she had the abortion and then told her she was a murderer after. That liar!

Because of this experience, I no longer think the laws of the Gospel about abortion are only about the loss of an unborn child. I think those spirits will get another chance to get a body and experience earth life. They may regret not being born to a specific mother and father, but I hope another chance for life is possible. (totally my opinion)

I think that by following the commandment to respect life, the mother is spared pain, suffering and guilt. Absolutely there is shame, pain and suffering just to have an unplanned child, to give a child up for adoption, or to raise a child when you were truly unable to. But, there is also unimaginable pain felt by mothers who choose to have an abortion then regret it. Pain in the next life when she meets the child that might have been hers. Pain when passing by children that would have been her child's age, wincing at her due date as it passes year after year, or, watching her years of fertility pass by and wishing you she had taken on the most sacred of womanly experiences: motherhood.

I'm just thinking that a lot of attention is paid to the loss of life of the unborn, when I've been witness to the loss of the life of a potential mother.

I don't want to be put in the same category of Pro-lifers that believe all abortion is murder. Although I think abortion as birth control is very wrong, I still think it is possible to be forgiven of, and for that I am very, very thankful to a loving and merciful God.

Kara said...

Cheryl,

I completely agree with your 2 options for pregnancy. No one ever thinks about the child's right to live. Once that life has been started it should have the right to be born. The medical advances are so radically different now than they used to be, even if that pregnancy is endagering the mother's life, the baby can be born early and a lot of them (even with time in a NICU) will live just fine. My opinion is very strong, that abortions should be illegal. Like you say sexual "freedom" comes with great responsibility.


I also love that you bring up the pollution and global warming, I also agree that the earth is in the warming cycle. I took so many ecology classes in college. I very much dislike environmentalists.

lifeofdi said...

Cheryl,

I guess I am just confused then. In my mind there is no reason to oppose abortion unless you think there's some sort of life/spirit involved. Am I wrong?

And I've just spent a few minutes on lds.org where everything I can find refers to abortion in the "shall not kill or anything like unto it" phrasing. I refer to those who oppose abortion as "they."

And in my mind, if abortion is taking a life, then those who willfully have abortions or perform them are killing someone. So I'm not necessarily trying to catch you in anything. It's just something that I see as a contradiction which I am pointing out.

Janelle,

I do think there are women who regret getting abortions and feel the pain of that. Just as people are coerced in many decisions, some women are pressured to have abortions. That should not happen. But there are women who feel the choice was right for them.

Both of you,

In the end, I very much doubt we will agree, as I don't share your religious convictions, which I assume play some role in shaping your opinion toward abortion. But thanks for the thoughts :) I know I have a tendency to sound... more aggressive or more strident than I mean to over the internet. If that's the case, sorry...

Cheryl said...

Dianne-
Hey, no worries. You are right that we probably won't ever agree on this completely, but I do have to say that I'm glad you realize abortion is not the cure-all or should be taken lightly. And the way you expressed yourself was very respectful, and I really appreciate that. This is a very heated subject and it could have easily come to blows, eh?

I'm just glad you delurked. I expect more of that in the future. ;)

Janelle said...

Hey Di, you did make me think more.

I do think that abortion is taking life. I've got a little kicker inside me right now at 19 weeks. Strong, with all the trimmings - fingers, toes etc. He/she (we find out tomorrow) is ALIVE, so I do think that abortion is killing. My opinion that an aborted baby might have a chance for another body may be TOTALLY wrong. I tend to be want things to be very merciful. Either way our doctrine does not punish little children who die young without baptism or other ordinances, so there would be no reason to mourn for their spiritual state, just the loss of their physical presence (which loss is terrible indeed.)

The fact that God does not punish little children for not having the opportunity to progress makes me think even more that the moral and gospel laws against abortion are to protect the mother from making decisions that have eternal detriment, possibly for the child but surely for her.

But since our doctrine makes a slight distinction between murderers and abortions I've got to hold out hope for my friend that if she ever does want to feel peace about who she's become since that decision that repentance is possible. Of course she'd have to start with the idea that there is a God, so there's a long way to go.

I thought you were totally respectful. I understand that most pro-choice supporters (there are even some within our religion) do not want to see abortion used as birth control but as a merciful way to deliver a distressed woman from a very tough situation. I just know my friend thinks that she would have been more inclined to stop smoking, leave her friend group and mature into a less selfish person if she had chosen to birth the baby. She laments the loss of the person she could have been. My hope is we can convince her that vision is still possible!

I like thinking about these things more, so thanks for pushing back!

Gio, Judi and Boys said...

i am not very knowledgeable about carbon footprints and all that stuff, though I do what I can to make this earth a better place...i have a good ways to go and maybe after reading these posts i can work on that...

i do however want to make a comment about pro-choice, what ever that choice may be. i am going to speak for the unborn child for just a moment. my biological mother was 16 yrs old when i was born. she made a very irresponsible choice to have sex with someone that she barely knew. it was a weekend fling sort of thing. i am grateful that her choice was to have me and then place me up for adoption. i was raised by two wonderful parents who love(d) me and did all they could for me. i have one brother, also adopted, and we truly are blessed because our "parents" made the choice to birth us, once they made the wrong choice.

i have been lds my whole life and i love the gospel. i have a strong testimony of it and of our prophets. i do my best to live the gospel to the best of my ability and one of those ways is to not judge other people and their "choices" wheather i agree with them or not.

as missionaries we teach people the gospel of jesus christ and one of the principles that we teach people about is free agency, that is the greatest gift that our father in heaven has given to us , next to his son, jesus christ as our savior.

our country is also founded on freedom. we talk about our military and how they go around the world to defend our freedom. isn't one of those freedoms also choice??? what ever that choice may be...?

i personally am against abortion, not because i am lds and i am suppose to be against it, but because i am one of those children that could have been aborted. i love my life and i am thankful for it. however, to me pro choice more than anything means making a choice, then our father in heaven will be the one to judge us and work it all out in the end.

i am sure that women/girls who have had abortions live with their choice everyday. it is not for us to judge them, look down on them, or think less of them. it is for us to love them and respect their choice. from what i have read here all i got from it was that everyone was judging the other person and their beliefs. that isn't our place.

i had a friend in high school who had an abortion. it was the hardest thing she ever did. i judged her for her decision and in doing so ruined a friendship. at a time when i should have been there loving her and being her friend, i turned the other way. after that experience i realized that everyone needs to make their own choices. it isn't for the government to tell me what i can/can't or should/shouldn't do.
but it is like cherly said...i/we need to be responsible with the choices we make before the "hard" ones come.

as parents if we teach and help our children to understand the improtance of being morally clean (and it doesn't matter what religion you are to teach kids that) and to love themselves and be pure, then hopefully they will never be in a spot where they will have to make that "choice" what ever it may be.