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Drop-Kick Him, Jesus

Well, last Saturday night Senator Obama had the opportunity to discuss his position on abortion, in front of a rather devout crowd of Christians, and he punted. Big surprise.

Obama, like on most issues, has two positions that he holds simultaneously. He talks about his discomfort and disapproval and dislike of abortion at every opportunity, but when it comes to actually putting action to words, every time he's voted on an abortion-related issue, he's voted in favor of keeping abortion as legal and unrestricted as possible, and opposing any and all infringement or limitation or restraint on abortion.

But what Obama said about the issue was the quintessential definition of a gaffe -- "accidentally speaking the truth." Fortunately, my dear colleague Cassy had the quote which I'm going to steal:

Rick Warren: OK, now, um, let's deal with abortion. 40 million abortions since Roe V. Wade, you know, as a pastor, I have to deal with this all the time. All of the pain, and all of the conflicts. I know this is a very com... complex issue. 40 million... uh, abortions. At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?

Obama: Well, uh, you know, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or, uh, a scientific perspective, uh, answering that question with specificity, uh, you know, is, is, uh, above my pay grade.

Let's take that a bit literally -- Obama's "pay grade" right now is $169,300 as a United States Senator. And as a senator, he's actually required to have an opinion on matters such as abortion -- for example, it was brought up in the confirmation hearings for both Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito, and Obama voted against both justices.

Obama is now seeking a promotion to a whole new "pay grade." of $400,000 per year, as president. And the president is also expected to have an opinion on abortion -- it's often one of the major issues debated when people decide who to vote for.

Whenever I've sought a job or a promotion, or judged others for such, one question that comes up is "is the person qualified for the job?" And some of the soundest advice given to such an applicant is to demonstrate that they are ready for the job -- seek out more responsibilities, prove that you can do the job you are aspiring to, from day one.

Senator Obama, with his "above my pay grade" remarks, shows that he's not ready for the promotion to the next pay grade. Hell, he as much admits that he's not qualified for his current pay grade.

Remember, folks, that Obama has chosen to make his most salient qualification for president his "judgment." Here's a situation where it is, in several senses, a matter of "judgment" -- and Obama freely admits his vaunted judgment fails him.

I can't believe that I'm actually starting to miss Hillary Clinton.


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Comments (63)

It seems, among other thing... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

It seems, among other things, truthfulness is also above Obama's pay grade.

The answer is amazing if yo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The answer is amazing if you consider that Obama is a lawyer. He could have at least fallen back on that definition and said he supports the law. No, he wouldn't have gotten any points with the local audience, but then they aren't likely to vote for him anyway. It's just another demonstration of how empty the suit is.

I like your writing Jay, bu... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

I like your writing Jay, but this is a whole post of unadulerated, weapons-grade snark. The pay grade question was obviously a metaphor - as in, there's only one being in the universe at that pay grade, and it ain't lil' ol' Barack Obama.

Sen. Obama declined to give a definitive answer - scientifically or theologically, not legally - on when a baby got human rights. If so many rational, intelligent adults disagree on the question of science and theology, why would he try to answer the question definitively? Warren didn't ask him 'legally.' Pretty striking difference, in fact.

Parthenon, I recognize you ... (Below threshold)

Parthenon, I recognize you from "that other site" and I'm delighted to see you show up here and stick around. You're the kind of reader I really appreciate -- you disagree with me without being disagreeable. You probably should get to meet mantis.

You're right, this was heavily snark-laden (of which I'm fairly proud), and Obama did decline to give a definitive answer, but the question clearly said "in your opinion." And he is running for an office where his opinion on that matter will carry tremendous weight -- it's been an unofficial litmus test for Supreme Court nominations for 20 years.

He obviously has an opinion -- it's shaped his voting on abortion-related issues for years. To deny that, to run from the question, is cowardly. He says he has no courage of his convictions.

As I've stated numerous times, I'm squishily pro-choice. And some time I'll actually write a full piece about that, and send the vast majority of my normally-supportive readership into apoplexy denouncing me. (I've been through that on gay marriage.) But Obama's ducking the question -- "in your opinion" -- just rubs me wrong. And, it seems, I share that with a lot of others.

Please, keep hangig around here. As much as I love those who agree with me, it's folks like you and mantis that keep me on my toes. And while I might not always like it, I always appreciate it.

J.

Warren didn't ask ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Warren didn't ask him 'legally.'

If warren had asked what makes something human or at what point does a life become human, then that would have been a scientific or theologically question. Also, Obama wasn't referring to God with his pay grade reference, as God has already answered that question. It's the answer McCain gave.

No, Warren's question was about human rights under the law. It was a legal question and Obama could have just quoted the legal answer. Maybe Obama didn't know the answer and was referring to a lawyer practicing in that area of the law as someone above his pay grade.

Well, last Saturday nigh... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Well, last Saturday night Senator Obama had the opportunity to discuss his position on abortion, in front of a rather devout crowd of Christians, and he punted.

You must have missed it when he said, as part of that same answer:

I am pro-choice; I believe in Roe vs. Wade.
He didn't think it was abov... (Below threshold)
Denise:

He didn't think it was above his paygrade in 2001

"Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection Clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a -- a child, a 9-month old -- child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it -- it would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute."

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=24354

This droning about his answ... (Below threshold)
Iwogisdead:

This droning about his answer being a "metaphor" referencing God is hogwash. If he doesn't know when a baby acquires "human rights" he has no business voting on any legislation impacting abortion. For all he knows, then, his support of abortion promotes the killing of human beings. Since he is either unable or unwilling to decide when a baby acquires "human rights" he is apparently saying that he just doesn't care whether or not abortion is killing human beings.
Since he can't even say that human rights are acquired at birth, then, for all we know, he doesn't know whether or not a one year old has human rights. Or a five year old. A pregnant teenager apparently has human rights, so I guess it's sometime before age 13.
What a dolt.

The Chosen One actually bel... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

The Chosen One actually believes he can still vote "Present!" if elected president.

When Obama says "pay grade"... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

When Obama says "pay grade", it tells me that he is only focusing on numbers and money when it comes to making decisions. If he can't answer a straight forward question when it comes to an issue that is obviously a concern for millions, it's simple aversion.

He already sees himself as president with the word stamped on his leather airplane seat, but he is not willing to make decisions as if he were. That attitude will not change if he were to be elected.

It's 'above his pay grade' ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

It's 'above his pay grade' to take a definite position, but it's not 'above his pay grade' when he would appoint Federal judges who could make that determination.

This wasn't just a punt...it was a shanked kick.

This was way worse than a s... (Below threshold)
ScottNorwood:

This was way worse than a shanked kick. I should know.

It's 'above his pay grad... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It's 'above his pay grade' to take a definite position, but it's not 'above his pay grade' when he would appoint Federal judges who could make that determination.

Well, yeah, that's the job of President. Bush doesn't claim to know how to fight a war; he says he listens to his generals on the ground (whom he appoints). What's wrong with a president admitting he's not omniscient? McCain says he doesn't know much about economics, but even given that that is one of our biggest issues now, that doesn't appear to disqualify him.

War and economics are compl... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

War and economics are complex issues. Warren asked for Obama's opinion with this question. "At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?" What, Obama doesn't even know his own mind? His answer was another way of voting present without taking a position. And this guy thinks he's qualified to be President.

Jay, how can you infer what... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Jay, how can you infer what his opinion of the rights of a baby is based on his voting record? It's not inconsistent to attribute rights to an unborn child/fetus that are less inviolable than the right of the mother to exercise autonomy over her womb.

Sounds horrible, and it is. Abortion is a tragic fact of most (all?) modern societies. I'm not familiar with your "squishily pro-choice" view, but unless you're only in favour of first-term abortions, aren't you committed to holding the rights of the mother above those of the baby/fetus in terms of violability?

Snarkly speaking, Mr. Obama... (Below threshold)

Snarkly speaking, Mr. Obama should certainly be greatful that his mother didn't consider her "pay-grade" when deciding not to abort.

Obama simply could not commit to defining when life begins with out alienating his pro-abortion electorate, but as a confessed Christian his stance is borderline hypocrisy. It must be getting rather uncomfortable to sit on a fence without commiting to a specific policy. It's "3 am" Mr. Obama----is your pay-grade going to be part of your decision making process?

"Sen. Obama declined to giv... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"Sen. Obama declined to give a definitive answer - scientifically or theologically, not legally - on when a baby got human rights. If so many rational, intelligent adults disagree on the question of science and theology, why would he try to answer the question definitively? Warren didn't ask him 'legally.' Pretty striking difference, in fact."


Actually the question was "IN YOUR VIEW"

He is entitled to an OPINION.

He could have easily said that almost everyone believes one of three things on this issue.
a. That life begins at conception
b. That life begins when the baby takes it's first breath.
c. Sometime between A and B (usally giving a specific week or term such as when it is viable outside the womb).

THen he could have said "I haven't made up mind on exact time when a fetus/baby should be given full rights as a human being."

That answer would have probably been acceptable because many people are torn on the issue and generally fall somewhere between A and C.

Instead he gives a half wit dodge.


(Note: I say most as if you say all some knucklehead will say it is only considered life after the heart beats 27 times when born on a an odd day of the month and 26 times on even days except under a full moon.).


I fully expect that this week (no later than tomorrow) the Obama camp will come out and say that the Obama was referring to God with his "above his pay grade remark".

Jay - the kind words are ap... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

Jay - the kind words are appreciated. When I was very young I grew rather disgusted with party politics and block thinking, i.e. unabashed partisan hackery. Since then I take each issue one-by-one and do as I can to base my position on what the evidence suggests and ignore the party line. Online I try to seek out thought-provoking and interesting writing - regardless of its politics. It's helpful while I'm on the laptop trying to bang out a kid's book.

But Obama's ducking the question -- "in your opinion" -- just rubs me wrong. And, it seems, I share that with a lot of others.

I dunno, I just don't feel he ducked it. If somebody asked me the theological and scientific ramifications of fighting a war for humanitarian intervention, but attached 'In your opinion,' I'd either say 'Ask a pastor or a sociologist!' or I'd say 'Well, as long as you understand I have no relevant expertise in this area...' Sen. Obama chose the former. Maybe if Warren had asked him about the legal ramifications, it'd be different, but he didn't - that's not what that audience wanted to hear, for obvious reasons.

What's the big deal?

No, Warren's question was about human rights under the law.

Mac, my reading of Warren's question suggests something entirely different. He didn't say legally. He said theologically and scientifically, which, as you know, don't always correlate with legally. A lawyer or a scientist could expound on this question for many volumes and not come to a satisfactory answer. (A pastor, of course, could come to his answer in a single sentence.)

And with regard to the discussion of SC judges - as president, his job will not be to appoint judges who agree with him politically, despite the common misconception. His job will be to appoint judges who he feels most honestly interpret the shades of grey in our constitution and the 200 ensuing years of case and legislative law. Big, big difference.

War and economics are co... (Below threshold)
Brian:

War and economics are complex issues.

Ah, but questions of life and death are not? And before you give the simplistic, "no they're not", consider that even those who oppose abortion disagree on intricacies such as involving rape, incest, and even protecting the life of the mother.

Warren asked for Obama's opinion with this question. "At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?" What, Obama doesn't even know his own mind?

And if McCain were asked, "what should the macroeconomic policy of the US be in your view?" You think he would have a better answer?

How can someone consider wh... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

How can someone consider when someone gets "human rights" as not a legal issue? Unless you think that us citizen theological should have human rights but not have those rights under our law.

In the end Obama never answer "at what point does a baby get human rights in his view".

Mac, my reading of... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Mac, my reading of Warren's question suggests something entirely different. He didn't say legally. He said theologically and scientifically, which, as you know, don't always correlate with legally.

Like many liberals posting comments here you seem to have a problem with reading comprehension. Go read Warren's question. The context is abortion in this country, and as such, its practiced under U.S. law. You'll note that Warren didn't use the words "theologically" nor "scientifically" in his question. Those are the words of Obama as he tried to figure out a way not to answer the question. Warren was asking for Obama's opinion, not some absolute truth. Apparently Obama's opinion is above Obama's pay grade.

Obama's answer to this question along with his record of voting "present" so many times demonstrates that Obama is not able to make tough decisions. He has no business being President.

How can someone consider... (Below threshold)
Brian:

How can someone consider when someone gets "human rights" as not a legal issue?

endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

Unless you think "their Creator" refers to legislators, human rights indeed have a theological component. The law is just a mechanism for enforcing the theological and moral interpretation.

Like many liberals posti... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

Like many liberals posting comments here you seem to have a problem with reading comprehension.

To begin with I just wanted to point out that this is the first time somebody has told me on a blog that I have problems with 'reading comprehension.' Now I just have to have somebody shorten me and tell me I'm not aware of those internet traditions and I'll consider myself a full-fledged fraternity member.

Mac, you're quite right. I read sloppily and it was Sen. Obama that used those two words. It appears to me that the Senator misintepreted the question, if indeed Warren meant legally. Given the complex field of perspectives on abortion, I wish Warren would have said 'legally,' if that's what he meant. It's a shame that the questions had to be identical, because if not, I'm sure Warren would have had the presence to say "But we're talking law here, Senator, not philosophy."

Does theology not have views of human rights? Does social science not have views of human rights?

Obama's answer to this question along with his record of voting "present" so many times demonstrates that Obama is not able to make tough decisions. He has no business being President.

Of course you've let the senator defend himself and that voting record before just drawing all sorts of conclusions. You're obviously that sort of reasonable chap that wouldn't mentally convict somebody without reading their defense.

Ah, but questions ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Ah, but questions of life and death are not? And before you give the simplistic, "no they're not", consider that even those who oppose abortion disagree on intricacies such as involving rape, incest, and even protecting the life of the mother.

Warren asked Obama for his opinion, not some absolute answer. Obama could have said almost anything. He could have even said that human rights start at conception, but I support the mother's right to kill her unborn baby even if the baby survives the attempt and is born alive. It's not like anyone who's going to vote doesn't already know Obama's position on abortion. At least such an answer would demonstrate Obama was able to make a decision and wasn't wavering in his positions.

And if McCain were asked, "what should the macroeconomic policy of the US be in your view?" You think he would have a better answer?

A fine straw man argument Brian. Lets all make up questions we don't think McCain or Obama could answer. Obama's what's the terminal velocity of a bowling ball dropped from 20,000 feet, in your view?

Unless you think "... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Unless you think "their Creator" refers to legislators, human rights indeed have a theological component.

Your quote is from the Declaration Of Independence, which has no legal standing or force in U.S. law. Also, Warren's question was not where human rights come from, but at what point are they applied to a baby? That's a legal question and one Obama should have an opinion on.

A fine straw man argumen... (Below threshold)
Brian:

A fine straw man argument Brian.

Thanks. Though not as good as the one that claims that economics and wars are hard, but decisions of life, death, and morality are easy.

To begin with I ju... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
To begin with I just wanted to point out that this is the first time somebody has told me on a blog that I have problems with 'reading comprehension.

We see this a lot on WizBang. Apparently liberal commenters are not used to reading quoted text with precision.

Mac, you're quite right. I read sloppily and it was Sen. Obama that used those two words.

No fair trying to throw me off my game by agreeing with me.

It appears to me that the Senator misintepreted the question, if indeed Warren meant legally.

I guess some liberals even have poor hearing comprehension.

Does theology not have views of human rights? Does social science not have views of human rights?

Well of course, but Warren didn't ask what human right are or where they come from, only at what point does a baby get them.

Of course you've let the senator defend himself and that voting record before just drawing all sorts of conclusions.

That's what these debates are for, but rather than defending himself he side steps the question with a really poor response.

First off, I agree with the... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

First off, I agree with the folks who say that Senator Obama can say whatever he likes in answering a question about his opinion. But at the same time, a foolish answer is a foolish answer no matter how it is spun. This was up there with Gerald Ford's goof that 'there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe', or Bill Clinton's wagging his finger at the camera; those kinds of things will come back and bite-cha, and it's beginning to dawn on Camp Obama that he is in a bit of trouble on his answer.

What I mean is, Obama could have made any number of clear statements about his opinion. He wouldn't lose any ground if he said he was a strgon supporter of abortion rights, since it matches his record and a lot of his folks know it. he could have explained his moral beliefs in better perspective and gained respect from moderates. Instead, he as much as said he didn't want to answer that question, even just as his opinion. That makes him look weak and timid, not the image of a leader.

Thanks. Though not... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Thanks. Though not as good as the one that claims that economics and wars are hard, but decisions of life, death, and morality are easy.

It's clear from my post #14 that I never made that argument. I think that gives you another count on making straw man arguments, Brian.

BrainRead my whole c... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Brain
Read my whole comment. Many may consider human rights as god given but until humans enact them, they are just words. How do they get enacted? Usually by the use of laws. So when does Obama think a person have human rights?

Obama was asked if he had a... (Below threshold)
MichaelC:

Obama was asked if he had an opinion. He declined to say whether he had one or not. I do not think it much of a stretch to interpret that to mean: I have no opinion or, I'm not sharing my opinion.

Warren asked "in your opinion" about an issue that any person paying attention at all to the issues of the day, indeed of the "age", must have thought about to some extent, and must have formed some "opinion" concerning, else what explains his lengthy voting record on the subject well known to us all.

Isn't it passing strange that a candidate only a few months away, quite possibly, from the most influential position on earth, is unable to venture an opinion about an issue of vast importance to so many voting citizens?

DJAn excellent ana... (Below threshold)
retired military:

DJ

An excellent analysis in my opinion.

I fully expect an explanation out of the Obama camp this week that the being whose higher pay grade he was referring to was God. Just my opinion.


I put some of this in Cassy... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

I put some of this in Cassy's thread, but I'm going to put it here too:

He was too scared to answer in a manner consistent with his votes. And he couldn't answer as McCain did without being hypocritical.

He could have just given a definitive answer in a more or less legal sense - when it is living and breathing outside the womb - but even when the neutrality clause was added to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act he still voted against it. So that answer was out too.

If we go by his voting record, he's not willing to extend legal rights to the unborn, or those born alive in spite of an attempt to abort.

I think the only question left is, "How long AFTER birth should a baby get human rights?"

Given the quality of today'... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Given the quality of today's kids? 18 years.

Jay Tea.His commen... (Below threshold)
joe:

Jay Tea.

His comment was flippant; it was a figure of speech. Atleast he had the ability to put his point across in a coherent and rational manner, unlike the current commander in chief, who has difficulty with monosyllables.

You are pissing up the wrong tree on this one!

We in Tennessee won't be vo... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

We in Tennessee won't be voting for Obama anyhow. People have realised that he's one G away from being GOBAMA!

This is unacceptable.

I vote for who Jesus would ... (Below threshold)
PeachPit:

I vote for who Jesus would of voted for.

Listkeeper--GO VOLS!!!! (uh... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Listkeeper--GO VOLS!!!! (uh joe joe--never piss in the wind-still got BDS have't you?)

I don't personally support ... (Below threshold)

I don't personally support Obama's views on the abortion issue, but I find many other areas where I do agree enough to proudly support him and contribute to his campaign.

I think Mr. Obama was very honest with the evangelical voters in Saturday's forum that he did not see eye to eye with them on some issues like abortion, however he offers a freshness on many other issues that they should consider. However, he will still lose the evangelic vote overwhelming to McCain because of single issue voters in this group such as those on the abortion issue.

No one ever seems to mention that any overturn of Roe v. Wade would not outlaw abortion, but just return the issue to the states, where abortion would remain legal in most places it currently is, while in many conservative states mostly in the South, it would likely be outlawed. But many Southern states already have few centers that perform abortions currently because of local community pressures.

And further, any overturn of Roe v. Wade might overturn some Supreme Court decisions allowing for some restrictions on late term abortions or partial birth abortions because some states like Oregon interpret the state constitution as offering a higher degree of civil liberties than the U.S. Constitution.

Being prolife is one thing. But an overturn of Roe v. wades will only mean a state by state struggle with the abortion issue, and bottleneck up legislatures and courts with injunctions, lawsuits, etc. And abortion laws could even become more liberalized than current federal rulings in many states.

This is one issue that those who support the overturn of Roe v. wade have not fully understood. And the funny thing is that conservatives want the U.S. Constitution to protect guns or other things at the Federal level, but then want each state or local community to decide abortion law at the local level. There is no consistent line of reasoning here.

Every time I read the Bible... (Below threshold)
angel:

Every time I read the Bible, I'm grateful that Jesus is not like any Christian I have ever met. He is more loving and understanding than I or anyone can even begin to comprehend. It's a travesty that Christians who should be representing Christ are so hateful and divisive. Quit acting like Pharisees!

Jesus would never ever "drop-kick" Obama or anyone who follows Him. Anyone who says he is a Christian is your brother and deserves the love and respect that the family members of the body of Christ should give to one another. It's okay if we don't agree on every issue, but we Christians have to show non believers that God's love is real, and we do this by respecting one another at the very least. And we don't do this by asking God to punt another brother or even a non believer.

"No one ever seems to menti... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"No one ever seems to mention that any overturn of Roe v. Wade would not outlaw abortion, but just return the issue to the states"

Actually liberals are always yelling that overturning ROE V Wade would spell disaster while conservatives constantly point to what your statement says above.

"But an overturn of Roe v. wades will only mean a state by state struggle with the abortion issue, and bottleneck up legislatures and courts with injunctions, lawsuits, etc."

Gee but saving thousands if not millions of lives isnt important. Heaven forbid that you can tie up courts for 20 years and spend a million dollars for one death penatly to be carried out but you cant spend money and time on untold thousands of unborn children.

And BTW most of the lives being saved would be African American and Hispanic as they have more abortions than caucasians.

"And the funny thing is that conservatives want the U.S. Constitution to protect guns or other things at the Federal level, but then want each state or local community to decide abortion law at the local level. There is no consistent line of reasoning here.
"

Umm Gee the constitution explicity mentions 2 things

1. the right to bear arms

2. anything not explicity mentioned in the constitution for the federal govt would be deferred to umm state governments.

Could that the be the reason? I would be willing to bet it is.

"And abortion laws could even become more liberalized than current federal rulings in many states. "

Gee 40 million deaths in the past 40 years vs unknown. I will take unknown for a 1000 Alex.

And the funny thin... (Below threshold)
And the funny thing is that conservatives want the U.S. Constitution to protect guns or other things at the Federal level, but then want each state or local community to decide abortion law at the local level. There is no consistent line of reasoning here.

This is an unbelievably lame argument. Conservatives support the constitutional protection of gun ownership because it's (gasp!) specifically mentioned in the constitution, namely, the second amendment. Conservatives think abortion law should be decided on the state level because we believe that R v. W was decided wrongly, and that the "constitutional right" to an abortion is not mentioned in the constitution, and in fact is an invention of a handful of judges using some mighty convoluted and strained legal reasoning in order to get where they wanted to go.

So any "inconsistency" is merely a figment of your imagination.

Please note that there are some states (such as California) that guarantee the right to abortion in their constitutions. Other states (I think there's about 30) that have legislation restricting or outlawing abortion that will go into effect immediately upon the overturning of R v. W., if that ever occurs.

So some states will have abortion, some states won't, and some will restrict it in various degrees.

I can live with that. Can you?

angel: the title is a refer... (Below threshold)

angel: the title is a reference to the song "Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through The Goal Posts Of Life)." Lyrics and a downloadable mp3 here --
http://www.bertc.com/dropkick.htm

J.

Thanks for blogging about t... (Below threshold)

Thanks for blogging about this issue. The more light - the better.

Jay, since we spend most Ch... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Jay, since we spend most Christian holidays together, I think it's best if we continue to avoid discussing your support of gay marriage and also of "pro choice". I was actually confronted with angry colleagues in the liberal public school system when I showed up with a baby on a bumper sticker which read, "I'm a child, not a choice."

I would just ask those of you who have not seen your beautiful 8, 10, 20 week old BABY in utero, sucking his/her thumb, moving, breathing.....to please reserve judgement on abortion. I have turned this issue on several men by telling them, blow by blow, what a partial-birth abortion entails. I've also asked them how they would feel if they deeply loved a woman, she became pregnant with his child, then she decided, without his consent, to "pro-choice" their BABY into non-existence.

When my third child was about ten weeks in utero, I began bleeding and was told I had aborted. There was no evidence to that, yet my beloved OB/GYN told me to "go home and take this pill - it will move things along." I called a local pharmacist who told me point blank NOT to take the pill - it would cause a spontaneous abortion. I found another doctor who ordered an immediate vaginal ultrasound, and we found that our BABY was alive, kicking, sucking his ten-week old thumb and his heart was beating a mile a minute. My other OB/GYN then tried to tell me, upon my confronting him, that "you must have had twins and aborted one." Two lawyers told me it was a "shame" that I hadn't actually lost the baby, because then I'd have a really solid case.

Ok, stepping off the soap box. Guys - just think long and hard about what it would mean to hold a life inside you - to feel it kicking, moving, growing.... it is a HUGE responsibility. And if you would condemn me for having a baby at a prom and dumping "it" in the trash can, please condemn me for terminating that LIFE at any point after conception.

Your opinion is as valid as... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Your opinion is as valid as anyone else's, and more probably thoughtful and sincere than most others, Candy.

Two things: 1) carrying a child to term and throwing it in a dumpster is not the same as (e.g.) taking a morning after pill; and 2) while I probably would develop an emotional attachment to a person (or what would become a person) growing inside of myself, I would have a serious moral problem with someone telling me that I am obligated to carry that person to term, using my body. If I wanted a child and my partner decided to have an abortion, I might stop loving her, lose respect for her, possibly even despise her, but it's not for me--or anyone else--to decide what she is obligated to use her organs for.

angel: John 2:13-17... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

angel: John 2:13-17

46. Posted by hyperbolist |... (Below threshold)

46. Posted by hyperbolist | August 18, 2008 9:52 PM

This is the direction of a selfish and self-centered society that puts their interest above the life of another. Your synopsis is repulsive and discusting.

"I would have a serious moral problem with someone telling me that I am obligated to carry that person to term, using my body."

The morality problem is yours to deal with when you terminate that life that you so easily dismiss as "that person". I would venture to guess you have never had a child or aborted one. Have you ever considered that "that person" could have been your mother or father or a sibling?

The creation of life is the most precious thing God has given us, and we have relegated this gift to a moral delimma. Sad indeed.

hyperbolist You st... (Below threshold)
retired military:

hyperbolist

You stated your opinion.

Bravo. I dont agree with it but still it is YOUR OPINION.

Obama didnt do that on the specific item in question. And therein lies the rub. If he had then

a. I doubt anyone would have been surprised.
and
b. The last few threads wouldnt have existed.

I mean is anyone really suprised if the democratic nominee for President states they believe in abortion in all forms?

I remember hearing comedian talking about all the news coverage of one of the pararazzi (Spelling) favorites of the month. He said something along the lines of

"she was found to be intoxicated.. THIS IS NEWS??? Tell me if you find her with a book in her hand. THAT WOULD BE NEWS!!!!."


When I first heard Obama's ... (Below threshold)

When I first heard Obama's comment two things ran through my mind.

1) He was referring to God but didn't have the guts to say "God" or "Jesus". He thought he could make a light hearted joke about a life or death issue.

2) He was basically saying "That's not my job". In my opinion, anyone who uses that line should never be promoted out of their current job.

Rovin: I don't believe in G... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Rovin: I don't believe in God; I live in a secular society (as do you); so, your points about God and the Bible are meaningless to me.

You're free to feel as disgusted as you like by my attitude towards abortion, as I'm free to feel disgusted by your attitude towards a woman's right to maintain sovereignty over her organs. Neither attitude is particularly relevant to the moral issues at hand, though.

And what the hell is with your dismissive use of the word "moral"? How does something get relegated to a moral dilemma? As moral dilemmas are the most pressing sort of dilemma, it would seem that they are the sort of thing that can be arrived at only through elevation, not relegation. If we aren't talking about morality--the realm of rights and wrongs--then what are we talking about? (Just so you're clear on what the word means next time: if God says "All life is precious", that is a moral claim.)

So when McCain answers a qu... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

So when McCain answers a question on macroeconomics by stating that he would defer to economists, he thereby persuades you never to vote for him. Dwayne, you're a man of principle, I like it.

Macroeconomics != Moral Iss... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Macroeconomics != Moral Issue.

Deferring to others on a technical issue is smart.

Not having a clue on a moral issue is pathetic.

"So when McCain answers a q... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"So when McCain answers a question on macroeconomics by stating that he would defer to economists"

Macroeconomics is something quantifiable though not exact as you economics is also affeted by human behavior and therefor not exact.

If you asked McCain to perform brain surgery in you and he deferred to a brain surgeon would you fault him for that or wouuld you insist on him doing the surgery.

Things like economics and brain surgery are not MORAL ISSUES. Moral issues define how a person acts or feels given a specific set of circumstances. If someone is asked a moral question answering "I dont know" is acceptable because there are so many things that could come into play.

Answering a moral question by essentially saying "That isnt in my job description" as Obama did is totally unacceptable and reprehensible. At leaste in my opinion.

Paul,No o... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Paul,

No one ever seems to mention that any overturn of Roe v. Wade would not outlaw abortion, but just return the issue to the states...

Technically that might be true, yet if the Supreme Court answered Rich Warren's question from a scientific point of view and used the same standard as for all born people, that decision would have the effect of outlawing a large percentage of abortions. That standard is brain activity. Under such a ruling it would be homicide to abort any child (and it would be a child under the law) that has detectable brain activity.

Homicide is justifiable for reasons of self-defense and to prevent great harm, so abortions could still be performed if delivering the child threatened the life of the mother or threatened causing her great harm. As with all homicides the event would be investigated and the participants could be charged with a crime if they knowingly misstated the risk to the mother.

How could such a ruling come about? First elect McCain, then get some state to enact a law applying a consistent scientific definition of a "person under the law" to all human life. Science has made lots of progress since Roe vs Wade and with one more conservative on the court, a ruling upholding a scientific standard would be seen only as a logical refinement of Roe vs Wade.

Gaining a proper understand... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Gaining a proper understanding of a moral issue, RM, can require us to understanding some pretty technical issues. For instance, just war theory--while it's been diluted for public consumption over the past few years in regards to whether the war in Iraq was a just undertaking, just war theory itself is hashed out by academics who practice the same sort of nit-picky conceptual analysis as philosophers of language.

Ditto for moral philosophy. If you don't have a precise understanding of the words you're using--or, worse, if you aren't interested in acquiring such an understanding--then sure, you can have an opinion, but that opinion will surely carry less weight amongst people interested in delving into the truth of the matter than the opinion of an expert.

While you might think that matters of life and death, right and wrong, are not technical questions, they in fact are. Pick up a copy of the journal Ethics and see if you can read and understand any article therein in under two hours. (You're bright, so that's why I say only two hours. Some people can never understand technical conceptual analysis, whether it be physics or moral psychology.)

hyperbolist,The th... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

hyperbolist,

The theory of moral skepticism distills down to the inability of humans to either establish or validate morals.

The answer to the scientific question "is the universe intelligent?" determines if morals can be imposed upon humankind. Being there is no means of discovering the answer, either choice is made by faith and by faith alone.

Someone who answers the question no is free to do whatever they can get away with regardless of human law. Someone who answers the question yes is not free to do certain things even if there is no human law against it. Free meaning they have no sense of guilt.

What's the purpose then of having consciousness of guilt if the answer is no? How would having consciousness of guilt increase a person's chances of reproduction? If there is such a mechanism, and there could be, then animals would also have a consciousness of guilt. Maybe a dog really feels bad about chewing up their master's slippers. Or a lion really feels bad about killing the cubs fathered by the former patriarch of the pride. Na, the answer has to be yes.

I posted a pretty good resp... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I posted a pretty good response to that but it was deleted. I don't have time this afternoon to try and repeat myself, but I will say that being an atheist doesn't make one a moral skeptic. Moral realism is not only for theists.

I will say that be... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I will say that being an atheist doesn't make one a moral skeptic. Moral realism is not only for theists.

True, but as a theist I can be both a moral skeptic and a moral realist at the same time. Someone who is both an atheist and a moral realist ascends to morals through intellectual means no different than ascending to the merit of any other human law. For such an individual, keeping morals is motivated from pride while keeping laws is motivated both from pride and fear of punishment. Such a person does not experience a true sense of guilt when violating either morals or laws.

Unlike pride or fear, guilt motivates a person to admit their faults and wrong doing and risk punishment even when there's no possibility of their infringement being discovered. Having once experienced the power of guilt, a person becomes more vigilant in their adherence to morals.

It's true that you can't legislate morals, but it's just as true that laws are no substitute for morals. That's because a sense of guilt is imposed from within a person while shame and punishment are imposed upon a person only when an infringement is discovered.

HyperboliYour argu... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hyperboli

Your arguments may seem sound to you but as with war the first contact with the enemy messes up all the nice tidy little things.

You want to deal with sterile concepts instead of actually dealing with the fact that babies are being killed. This seems to be an abstract idea to you. For those babies it isnt. And therein is where your plan meets contact with the enemy and it fails miserably.

That is why in the other thread you stated that depending upon the motive of the person it could be considered right to slit a baby's throat just after it was born.

I have two living children ... (Below threshold)
epador:

I have two living children born at term. I had two children that died in spontaneous abortion in late first trimester. Their losses were mourned. Had anyone caused their deaths, I would have considered them killers, hyperbolist be damned.

I am sorry for your loss, e... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I am sorry for your loss, epador. My mother had three miscarriages and three children, and she is still upset about it.

Mac, I don't know why you don't think I can't experience true guilt. Believing that you've committed a 'sin' is not the only way of believing that you've committed a moral transgression, and thus not the only way of experiencing true guilt. If I hit somebody with a car and killed them, even if it wasn't my fault, I would still feel guilt in the purest sense. We're hardwired for it. Religion offers one explanation for it, and anthropology and evolutionary psychology offer another. I find the latter more compelling.

hyperbolist,I do a... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

hyperbolist,

I do accept that you are capable of feeling true guilt. As you say "We're hardwired for it." The mystery how or why?

The foundation of all religion and the foundation of evolutionary science flow from the question "is the universe intelligent?" Because the answer cannot be ascertained either way, one can only accepted either answer by faith. How then can a scientific explanation of guilt be "compelling" in any degree when ultimately the foundational for that explanation is a tenet of faith?




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