Monday, January 23, 2006


Moved here.



paul asjes said...

i appreciated you post, so i emailed the link to some friends, honestly asking for their opinion. a female friend whom i love responded with this.

"i respect your decision to send that to me, and i appreciate your openess to hear my opinion. and here it is:
i didn't read past the first paragraph. it grossed me out and made me
want to throw up.
maybe i, maybe you, maybe john h (or whoever) think that abortions are wrong. but who are we to stop someone else's option? we don't know their circumstances. it's a personal choice and didn't God give us free will? he knew when he created free will we would have sin. isn't He almighty and allpowerful and all knowing? why do we think we can
make make an option unreachable? stopping planned parenthood and abortion clincs won't end abortions. places like FL will still be legal...the rich will go there and the poor will be in the back alleys like before. it will become worse. at least now it is safe. AND NO ONE goes into an abortion without thinking A is a hard decesion
and an awful one at that. i would like to think that i would never get one. i am personally PRO LIFE if i have to categorize myself. but i can NEVER EVER tell someone they can't make their own choices. so i am PRO CHOICE in the outer world.

we all should focus more on praying to stop the CAUSES of abortion (rape, incest, premarital sex if you will) not abortion itself. that is the result. let's stop the caues not the effect...

and isn't harrassing women, the doctors, blowing up and killing these people far more of a sin? isn't THAT twisted?...all this holier than thou shit...aren't we humble...

it is NOT the vagina that is always the problem. the church needs to focus on the penis every now and then....

this is why i have such a hard time with organized religions...."

what do you think?

Jack H said...

I think she didn't read it. I'd think it even if she hadn't said it. Nothing she's said here is responsive to what I've written. Rather, it illustrates my point. Useless. This young woman demonstrates some painfully muddy thinking. It doesn't matter in the slightest whether or not you or I or she thinks abortion is wrong. Others imagine it is somehow right. What matters is whether or not it IS wrong. And this is a question that revolves on only one fact - is a "fetus" a "fully" "human" "life". After that, opinion is irrelevant. It is, of course, a question your friend avoids, choosing instead to blather on about omnipotence and prayer and free will and options and society.

I personally am anti-murder. But I can never ever tell someone they can't make their own choices. We should all pray to stop the causes of murder, not murder itself. Let's stop the causes, not the effect. Isn't harassing gun dealers and murderers far more of a sin? It's not the killers who are always the problem. Society needs to focus on how wrong the victim is every now and then. So I'm pro-murder in the outer world. And I, personally, am anti-slavery...

I'm sure you get my not-at-all-subtle point. Because if the unborn are human, then aborting them is murder -- not technical "murder," at this point, since it's legal -- let's say, "homicide." Is there anything wrong with my logic? I'd be edified to have it identified. A syllogism: If the unborn are human, and if killing humans is homicide, then killing the unborn is homicide. Hmm. Yep, the form is valid. So the truth of the conclusion depends on the accuracy of the premise. And we’re back where we started.

So your friend is pretty typical – chasing irrelevancies and avoiding the root of the matter. I’m tempted to call it cowardice, but perhaps that’s too harsh – accurate, but too harsh. You might have noticed, Paul, that I can be rather sarcastic. I’m avoiding that here, since it wouldn’t be productive, and this is too serious an issue. (But remind me some time to tell you a joke.) There’s no good payoff in name-calling. But your friend hasn’t done some basic homework. I was "grossed out" when I was 17, and came to a different conclusion than she has. But then again, she hasn’t done her homework. She couldn't even be bothered to read this post. Heaven forefend that her emotions might be upset. ... What? I’m being sarcastic? After I said I wouldn’t be? Well, you're right. So sorry. But at least I didn't correct her "first paragraph" - it's the 4th. And who's this "John H" she keeps harping about? And she “respects” your decision to send you this, but doesn’t bother to read it. But there I go again.

So we can appreciate her righteous and uninformed speech-making. But it calls to mind something about hollow trees and clanging cymbals. And her opining about organized religion is well-meant, I’m sure, although rather off topic. And her inventive contrast between vagina (which you and I know is always at fault) and penis (oh, that righteous and infallible phallus!) is edifying, but doesn’t have a lot to do with questions of ontology.

If you have a conversation with her, remember there’s only one point that’s relevant – what is human? If a fetus is human, then the soul-searching a woman does before her abortion is only the planning a killer takes before his crime. Harsh? Not as harsh as an abortion.

There you have it, Paul. I could go on all night. But you suspected as much. I can be glib, from a distance. You be kind and patient, in person. Maybe we’ll make a convert. And the heavens will ring with jubilation.



paul asjes said...

"i am personally PRO LIFE if i have to categorize myself." -my 'cowardice' friend

"It doesn't matter in the slightest whether or not you or I or she thinks abortion is wrong." -J

Every movement we make in response to God has a ripple effect, touching family, neighbors, friends, community. Belief in God alters the language of our lives. Love of God affects daily relationships. Hope in God enters into our work. Also their opposites - unbelief, indifference, and despair. None of these movements and responses, beliefs and prayers, gestures and searches, can be confined to the soul. They spill out and make history. -Eugene Peterson

"Maybe we’ll make a convert." -J

"it is not really my goal to make 'converts' to my way of thinking." -me
also, i am not the one that changes people's heart.

I love the fact that it isn't my responsibility to change somebody, that it was God's, that my part was just to communicate love. p221 blue like jazz

It was the affection of Christ, not the brutality of a town, that healed Zacchaeus. p183 blue like jazz

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. -1 Corinthians 2:4-5

so, i thought the "it's a personal choice and didn't God give us free will? he knew when he created free will we would have sin. isn't He almighty and all powerful and all knowing?" was an ok point. at least i don't think it can be written off super easily. i mean, is it people's responsibility to MAKE other people make the right choices?

but i do know i am supposed to "Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." -Isaiah 1

ok, after all that being said, you should know i was just talking with my friend the other nigh about the power, wisdom, and truth of your writing. these are just some things that came to mind after reading your response.

one more thing: i didn't know where you got this "Society needs to focus on how wrong the victim is every now and then." i don't think she said anything like that.

Jack H said...

If we didn't think our opinions were right, we wouldn't hold them. Since we do think they are right, we share them. If someone believes two and two are five, we attempt to educate them. If something thinks abortion is ok, we share our views on the matter. No one can read anything I write and reasonably come away with the view that I would force someone to my way of thinking. I've said in a number of ways, and even in this piece, that words are useless. Do I not believe it? Of course it's not my job to convince anyone, of anything. I honestly think I know better than most how hopeless that is.

I think I detect some slight objection to my use of the word "cowardice." Consider the definition, and see if it applies. To hold a firm opinion on a matter as grave as this, but to flee from examining a contrary position, seems cowardly to me. Especially since there doesn't seem to be anything in the "first" paragraph that's offensive enough to cause actual nausea. But that's what cowardice is - being controlled by the emotion of fear.

My point re *opinions* not mattering was meant to be understood in relation to actual *truth*.

My "convert" remark was meant in the sense of having a positive influence through dint of reason. We can't change hearts, but we can influence minds. Hence, the capacity to reason, and communicate.

The "personal choice" cliche is a total cop out. Owning slaves was a personal choice. It is a personal choice to not wear a sweater in cold weather. Killing babies extends rather beyond the merely personal. There's nothing I've ever written that argues against free will. It's just utterly irrelevant as an excuse for killing babies. As for compulsion, making people make the right choice -- we call these "laws." I'm sure you know it, put someone else might need to be reminded that laws don't force right action, but they punish wrong action, and so, indirectly, ensure a preponderance of right action. And I'm sure you don't need it pointed out that laws can be unjust - but that would be the general rarity, I'm sure we all agree. Every law is a statement of morality - even "wear your seatbelt": to burden society with healthcare expenses is "wrong."

The "Society..." parody is the counterpart of her "We should all focus on" idea. It's just shamefully bad logic, or so I see it. The "cause of abortion" is the presence of an unwanted baby in the uterus. To go off on a tangent about "back alley abortions" demonstrates a profound ignorance about the reality of pre-Roe v Wade America. I don't, however, see it as my job to tame every feral cogitation that escapes its zoo.

But thanks for the kind words. I can't say, as to power or wisdom. But I strive for truth.


paul asjes said...

im embarrased that you had to talk about laws the way you did. but yeah, good work.

ok, and the rest, yeah, thanks.

keep the truth coming.


Jack H said...

Please don't be embarrassed on my account. I hope you don't think I'm condescending – it’s an impression that my Mr. Know-It-All tone might encourage, but I’m only sarcastic with people I think are wrong. As I said, I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded of basics, but you’re not the only one who’ll read this – I hope – and I’ve found in conversation that people need to be told some pretty basic stuff.