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Amending the Constitution

Planesdragon (210349) writes | more than 9 years ago

User Journal 81

Since this is legislative and not really left-wing or right-wing, I'm not considering it a "political" journal

It's my opinion, as an American citizen, that we need to amend the Constitution. Each of the proposed changes is one that I feel would do the country good as a whole; comments are welcome, as always.

Since this is legislative and not really left-wing or right-wing, I'm not considering it a "political" journal

It's my opinion, as an American citizen, that we need to amend the Constitution. Each of the proposed changes is one that I feel would do the country good as a whole; comments are welcome, as always.

Amendment D1: The Equal Rights Act
Save in such cases that basic gender-based characteristics are relevant and crucial to the task, Congress shall make no law that differentiates between persons based on gender.

I don't care if it's moot. I don't care if it would damage special interests; as far as the government cares, except for parts specifically requiring breasts or a sexual organ my wife and I should be identical. (And note that "gender-based characteristics" are cruical to "marriage." If the above language does not seem to read that way, Congress will correct it.)

Amendment D2: Marriages and Civil Unions
Article 1: The word "marriage" shall mean only a union between a man and a woman, and no law shall be construed as to require the states to recognize marriages between couples of the same gender

Article 2: Any relationship between couples of the same gender by any state shall be recognized by all other states as a Civil Union.

Article 3: All marriages and civil unions shall be given the full weight of all endowed rights as determined by the state in which the couple spends the majority or plurality of each year.

Article 4: All Civil Unions shall be accorded full rights of marriage under the laws passed by Congress to apply to the many states, but only those laws within each state that the state itself gives to them.

No "gay marriage", but federal weight to civil unions and an out for states that don't want them.

Amendment D3: Protection of Citizens
In addition to the powers granted it in Article 1, Congress shall make such laws as it deems fit to protect the rights of all persons residing in the United States, as enumerated in this Constitution.

Enough stretching commerce to cover murder. We rely on the Bill of Rights to protect us from even the local town traffic judge -- let's give Congress the teeth to enforce and protect them.

Amendment D4: Abortion
Article 1: Congress shall make no law abriding the right of a competent woman with the consent of the father to prematurely end a pregnancy within the first three months.

Article 2: Congress shall make no law abridging the right of an unborn but viable child to be born, nor of fathers to have their children brough to term, save in such cases that are deemed medically necessary to save the life of the mother.

No abortion at all would be bad. No limits on abortion at all is bad. Men being unable to bring legal weight to save their children is bad.

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81 comments

Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10987481)

There is nothing inherent in marriage that requires sexual organs or breasts. Child bearing and marriage are not the same thing, so you cannot cross the two as if they were. I am perfectly capable of siring offspring though I am not married, and I work with a married woman who is not capable of bearing children. Adm. D2, Article 1 is hereby stricken because it provides unreasonable restrictions on citizens based on gender. An alternative is also provided: the United States government shall not recognize marriage as a legitimate union for the purpose of secular benefits. However, it shall provide recognition of civil unions of which marriage will be included.

Adm. D4, Article 2 does not address the safety of a woman in a responsible way. It is possible, via complications arrived at through pregnancy, for a woman to be permanently, seriously injured as a result of a problem birth. These complications can develop at any point in the preganancy, not just prior to three months. As such, Adm D4, Article 2 does not provide reasonable protections to the well-being of an otherwise healthy citizen and places unreasonable risks on individuals in our society based on gender and medical condition. It is hereby stricken.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10987838)

There is nothing inherent in marriage that requires sexual organs or breasts.

Hence why this and equal protection are both amendments.

I know it's all geeky to say "we should just not have gov't recognized marriages" and all, but it won't happen. You'll sooner see televangical baptists in Texas calling for polyandry.

The Constitution isn't a law passed by Congress -- ergo, anything in the Constitution is set and seperate from the "Congress shall pass no law" rules.

BTW, D2 is the biggest one here IMO. Something like it will be proposed in the next few years, and something like THIS is better than the "no gay marriage" rule that doesn't even give C.U.s federal weight.

Adm. D4, Article 2 does not address the safety of a woman in a responsible way.

No, it doesn't. It's not intended to. Pregnancy always has been and always will be a dangerous situation for the mother.

Still, it's a better balance to have someone try and argue that permanent injury is equitable to "life" than to let someone argue that post-partum depression is part of "health."

How about "... unless medically necessary to preseve the life of the mother or keep her from serious permanent injury."

And don't forget that the Article 2 right only applies to "viable" children. If that infant is going to be stillborn and you can either abort now or never have another child, abort.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988291)

You'll sooner see televangical baptists in Texas calling for polyandry.

I could give two shits what those nutjobs think. They're not going to get their agendas shoved through(us yanks won't allow it[and if all of us say no, ammendments aren't possible], our conservatives balk at these guys by and large) and I can wait 'em out.

No government marriage is a compromise, and a constitutionally sound one at that. Doesn't require any amending. They can take it or leave it. I suggest they take it, because inside of 30 years they will have lost this fight anyway.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988414)

You like to argue the "it's better than nothing" angle on writing in support for CUs and writing gay marriage off as illegal. That, to me, skirts the real problem here: that marriage in our society is defined around judeo-christian belief even though it's being used to provide secular benefits.

The problem, as I see it, is one of separation of church and state. If churches want to refuse marriages to gay people, that's their right as part of their practice. However, if that's the case, then marriages are strictly religious institutions and we shouldn't be giving them any secular benefits. If you want married straight people to get benefits from the government and "united" gay people to get benefits from the government, the union is the secular denominator and should be used as the basis for doling out special privilegs. Married people can get married, churches can do whatever they want, and everyone has to apply for civil unions to get anything out of the government. Then, it's a private matter between rights groups and church leaders to fight it out over churches excluding gays.

Regarding the latter - I'm still undecided on the whole abortion rights thing until technology catches up with the debate. The way I see it, the "child" is not a child while it cannot live naturally outside the womb. In that case, it's just another part of the woman's body and if she wants to cut it out, it's no different than her choosing to lop off a finger. As long as she doesn't cause any kind of threat to the public doing it, she's free to do either as she sees fit.

However, once the child becomes capable of living outside the womb, it's a child in its own right and the mother becomes a parent responsible for its care.

The problem, of course, is that it's nigh impossible to determine when the child becomes a child in any given case.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10989077)

You like to argue the "it's better than nothing" angle on writing in support for CUs and writing gay marriage off as illegal. That, to me, skirts the real problem here: that marriage in our society is defined around judeo-christian belief even though it's being used to provide secular benefits.

I'm not skirting the issue -- i'm agreeing with it.

Our entire system of law, from our social programs to executive leniency to our system of jury to what we consider crimes, is defined around judeo-christian belief. Elements of common law have their roots in the millenia when Europe was a theocracy in all but name.

To be completely honest, I think that the word "marriage" SHOULD be reserved for the classic model. Arguments to the contrary are, well, just petty.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10989902)

The difference between, for example, enforcing statutes on murder vs. enforcing statutes on marriage is that the murder case can be made without ever making a religious argument. At some point, however, you have to resort to using a religious argument to support the current method of recognizing marriage because there is nothing about marriage that isn't flatly religious. As an example, you can't secularly argue the point in relation to child-bearing because child-bearing and marriage were only superficially related to one another on religious grounds (i.e. "God doesn't want 'illegitimate' children running around"). Taking it further, you can't say "it's tradition" without narrowly defining your boundaries because human beings have been bearing children outside of marriage an awful lot longer than they've been artificially forcing a relationship between the two.

The religious definition of marriage inside the government simply needs to be eliminated on the basis of church-state separation. A compromise in this instance is nothing more than "caving in". You can compromise people's rights when they negatively impact other people's rights (see the "your right to swing your fist" example). This just further compromises group A's rights because group B is already compromising all sorts of other people's rights, which only compounds the problem, it doesn't solve it.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990350)

At some point, however, you have to resort to using a religious argument to support the current method of recognizing marriage because there is nothing about marriage that isn't flatly religious.

Not true.

Marriage has three wholly non-religious argumens in its favor -- which, btw, is one more than I can think of against murder.

* Seperation of Specialty -- men and women are different. In study after study, case after case, we find that while any single man or single woman is supurbly capable, the heights of achievement are found in complimentary couples.

* Child rearing -- while women may bear children out of wedlock, and homosexual couples may easily support children and a stay-at-home parent, humans mature better and quicker when they have both a good female model and a good male model.

* Social Engineering - Married couples tend to have children, and stay together to provide stability for those children. As a gross mass, society benefts more from heterosexual couplings than homosexual ones.

And don't forget inertia. While you can point and say "10,000 years ago we didn't marry" or "that small tribal culture doesn't marry", by and large *every major culture* has definied marriage as between men and women, granted it certain rights, and actively encourged it.

The religious definition of marriage inside the government simply needs to be eliminated on the basis of church-state separation.

The seperation of church and state is to keep the state from meddling in the church, not the other way around. While we want to ensure that the satanists and scientologists aren't criminalized just for that, we're not going to allow random murder or drug use on religious grounds.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991164)

men and women are different. In study after study, case after case, we find that while any single man or single woman is supurbly capable, the heights of achievement are found in complimentary couples.

How is this relevant to marriage? In addition, where are the case studies?

while women may bear children out of wedlock, and homosexual couples may easily support children and a stay-at-home parent, humans mature better and quicker when they have both a good female model and a good male model.

I keep seeing this claim, but I never see proof provided. Where are you finding this? More importantly, are these studies concluding that this is a biological fact of life, or is it something more akin to developmental problems caused by external forces such as other schoolchildren picking on little Billy because he has two daddies? The former would only be an argument against allowing gay couples to raise children - which, as I've already addressed, is only superficially related to marriage. The latter is a separate social problem no different than a black child growing up impaired because of intolerance.

Married couples tend to have children, and stay together to provide stability for those children. As a gross mass, society benefts more from heterosexual couplings than homosexual ones.

Again, this is not relevant. First of all, divorce rates for heterosexual couples are fairly high, hovering anywhere from 1 in 4 to 1 in 2 depending on location. Second, whether a person is married or not has nothing to do with their capability to have and raise children. Third, arguing that stability is important is in no way related to sexual preference, unless you're suggesting that homosexual couples cannot have stable relationships and homes.

Your claims about church and state are disingenious. The separation of church and state doesn't prevent the church from futzing about in the government, you're correct. However, if the government starts playing favorites and giving one religion benefits because of its beliefs, there's the little problem of "establishment of religion". You cannot have the government providing an air of legitimacy to one religion that it doesn't provide to others. If you don't believe that, how would you like it if it started to shun the J-C ideals in favor of the religious tenets of, for example, Islam. While their are similarities, I think you might be unpleasantly surprised if the government started giving certain benefits only to polymagous marriages. That lends a certain of air of credibility to that religion which is entirely against constitutional principles.

Regarding "intertia" - it's irrelevant. You're arguing "times change" by saying that the 10,000 years of marriage outweighs the 990,000 years without it. Well, then I can just say: it's time for times to change again.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991357)

Well, then I can just say: it's time for times to change again.

Why?

At the most basic, right now marriage is only a man and a woman. You want to change the meaning of that word -- why?

Kindly skip the "we want equal rights" line. Presume that C.U.s exist and offer all the beneifts of marriage.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991451)

Because religion is what's defining marriage in a society that is supposed to be free from established religion. "Marriage" has a strong secular meaning and it's being given its definition by Christianity, mainly. It's not even a change, it's a correction. If we were just arbitrarily making a change, I'd demand there be significant evidence provided to show its necessary. However, since this is problem of the government giving extra legitimacy to, mainly, Christianity, it's a correction. It's really no different than striking Jim Crow laws from the books. They were a mistake and a problem and the problem needed a correcting. Now, this problem needs correction.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10992012)

It's really no different than striking Jim Crow laws from the books.

No. Giving C.U.s full federal weight is striking Jim Crow from the books.

Changing the definition of the word marriage is aking to passing a law forbiding the use of the word "nigger".

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (2, Interesting)

StalinsNotDead (764374) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991204)

At some point, however, you have to resort to using a religious argument to support the current method of recognizing marriage because there is nothing about marriage that isn't flatly religious.

Using the same rationale, shouldn't polygamy also be legally recognized?

I agree that the issue needs to be dealt with as a "separation of church and state" thing. The word "marriage" needs to be stricken from the legal lexicon.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

There are multiple definitions for establishment.
Here are two.
1. The act of establishing
2. An arranged order or system, especially a legal code

I reckon that most people interpret the first amendment as using the first. In other words, no government setting up a church.

I think the second definition to be better. No law respecting an establishment of religion, meaning no laws pertaining to the religious organization (including beliefs and doctrine), marriage being the foremost issue recently.

Illegalizing any union based on religious principles would be akin to any of the following:
1-enforcing the Sabbath, or Ramadan
2-a federal law banning the consumption of pork, or beef, or mixing dairy and flesh on the same dish.
3-Everyone has to take at least one trip to Las Vegas within their lifetime.

Frankly, I think any marriage not presided over by Elvis or Darth Vader should be considered null and void;)

On the abortion issue.
From my perspective, abortion is wrong, except in three cases: Medical necessity, Rape, or eugenics.

If the pregnancy occurred due to the choice of the mother, the abortion should only be allowed if birthing the child puts the female in jeopardy. I'm not a physician so I'm not qualified to render judgment as to when that option should exist.

The choice I mention is not the decision to have a child, but the decision to engage in sexual activity. The only way to absolutely prevent pregnancy is to keep male genitals out of female genitals. Any voluntary act that allows this act to occur should come with the realization that, regardless of precautions (Pills, condoms, etc) those precautions could fail, and pregnancy could occur. If the parties involved don't want to risk the responsibility of a child, they should avoid the act that may cause them. This is where the issue of rape comes in. If the female was forcibly impregnated, she did not make the choice to potentially become pregnant. The mental health of the mother should be taken into consideration. If the mother does not feel that, due to the circumstances of the child's conception, she could give the child the necessary affection to raise a reasonably well-adjusted person, the option should exist to terminate.

Now, I'll probably be accused of being a Nazi for even considering using the term eugenics in what approaches a positive way. But the definition of the word eugenics is: The study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding.

I don't believe it is fair to either the child or the parent(s) to be forced into the burden of caring for or experiencing any number of debilitating afflictions. I also don't believe that the decision to terminate a pregnancy should be mandatory (that's the Nazis). And the decision must come within a certain period of time before a threshold of maturity is reached by the infant.

Most abortions seem to me to be a decision to correct a mistake. An utterly selfish act by a person who cannot be inconvenienced with the responsibility to care for another human being. I find such a selfish act to be reprehensible. I would want nothing to do with a person that has aborted a pregnancy for any reason other than the three reasons mentioned earlier. And if I ever do get united, there's going to be a clause in the pre-union contract, that in the event of an abortion (regardless of who the father is*) or the discovery of an abortion having been performed before the union is terminated, and the female is permitted to leave with personal possessions and enough money for first and last month's rent for a mid-range apartment, and the lesser valued vehicle if two or more are owned by the house-hold.

I didn't set out to compose such a lengthy comment. Sorry for the inconvenience.

*infidelity is a separate issue, and will have it's own clause depending on whether the union is negotiated as a monogamous arrangement. But if it was some other bloke, I would expect child support. It was his contribution to the life, so he should have the responsibility to contribute to the expense. Yeah, I know. I live in my own little world. But at least everyone here knows me.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991366)

Polygamy shouldn't be anything. If some dude wants five wives and they all agree, it's there business and it's not harming anything, so yes, why not? Laws should be enacted for the benefit of a society, not to support arbitrary fears and prejudices. There really isn't any logical reason to limit the activities of two or more consenting adults when all of their actions are self-contained and don't endanger/impede anyone else.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

miu (626917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991326)

At some point, however, you have to resort to using a religious argument to support the current method of recognizing marriage because there is nothing about marriage that isn't flatly religious.

Even viewed from the standpoint of evolution of the species (and societies) the marriage of men and women is a valuable and natural thing. Societies with no christian tradition of 'God gave Eve to Adam in marriage' have marriage. You could make a case that it is purely a religious ceremony and should not be managed by the state in any way, but many of the essential rituals of successful societies were preserved and enforced solely by means of religion and have now been co-opted by the state in some form: coming of age, schooling, marriage, and consanguinity laws for sexual relations being several obvious ones in the US.

In a perfect world the separation of church and state would be perfect, and civil unions and religious marriage would be two distinct things - but I don't think that will happen soon, which means that more realistic points of comprise have to be found.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990348)

That, to me, skirts the real problem here: that marriage in our society is defined around judeo-christian belief even though it's being used to provide secular benefits.

To preface the following, I'd like point out that if we were entirely consistent- we'd also be denying benefits to infertile heterosexual marriage couples.

Having said that- the ideal isn't based on judeo-christian belief. Marriage being a part of childbearing predates both Judaism and Christianity, nor is it limited to those cultures. In fact, it's only very recently that ANY culture has demanded that marriage be expanded beyond child rearing and heterosexuality- though sadly monogamy went by the wayside long ago. Even the greeks, which accepted homosexuality as the norm and heterosexual marriage as something that was ONLY done for child rearing, did not insist on marriage between people of the same sex. So you're wrong on that.

The problem, as I see it, is one of separation of church and state. If churches want to refuse marriages to gay people, that's their right as part of their practice. However, if that's the case, then marriages are strictly religious institutions and we shouldn't be giving them any secular benefits. If you want married straight people to get benefits from the government and "united" gay people to get benefits from the government, the union is the secular denominator and should be used as the basis for doling out special privilegs. Married people can get married, churches can do whatever they want, and everyone has to apply for civil unions to get anything out of the government. Then, it's a private matter between rights groups and church leaders to fight it out over churches excluding gays.

The problem I see with this is that there is no incentive for the government to provide benefits to civil unions at all. The ONLY reason for providing the benefits in the first place is to create a new generation of well educated laborers. We should be consistent then and limit civil union benefits to people in a civil union who raise or care for progeny- even if that progeny is adult and even if the couple in the civil union is gay. Divorce should continue to end those benefits.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990580)

The ONLY reason for providing the benefits in the first place is to create a new generation of well educated laborers.

No, you're forgetting keeping the current generation of well educated laborers happy and content. Benefits to unions go a long way to doing that.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991040)

No, you're forgetting keeping the current generation of well educated laborers happy and content. Benefits to unions go a long way to doing that.

I'd argue that they've got a negative side as well on that angle- by making the single well educated laborers less content, and thus, less productive. It would be interesting to see what would happen to the productivity differences between singles and married couples if you took away the extra incentive for being married.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991314)

I have a hard time believing that marriage predates religion. In fact, I'm having a hard time buying that anything approaching what we know as marriage today predates even just Judaism. We've been bopping about this planet for about a million years in our current, general form. I'm willing to bet that wherever marriage started, it started with religion. Even failing that, I can guarantee you that our current views on marriage came straight out of the Roman Catholic church of the middle ages.

Barring all that, I have no problem with eliminating marriage benefits and continuing to give benefits to those who RAISE CHILDREN. Ah, yes, we still have the problem of all those little pests out there without families who can be raised by homosexual couples....

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991527)

I have a hard time believing that marriage predates religion.

That's because you're largely stuck in the taker meme of marriage being granted by religion or by government, as opposed to merely recognized by religion and government.

In fact, I'm having a hard time buying that anything approaching what we know as marriage today predates even just Judaism.

Hindu's marriage rituals are a specific example- though still in religion. The Indus Valley was settled and farmed for 4000 years before Moses came along- and he's usually accepted as the father of Judaism. Likewise, there's quite a bit of evidence that Abraham and Sarah in the Bible were married *before* the covenant that created the Jewish people (and the Arabs) in myth. So there's two specific examples of even *religious* marriage predating the Jews.

We've been bopping about this planet for about a million years in our current, general form.

I'd say two million- but marriage by the heterosexual, childbirth definition applies just as equally to any species that mates for life, so I'd have to say we don't have to limit the history of marriage by that definition to even the human species being around.

I'm willing to bet that wherever marriage started, it started with religion. Even failing that, I can guarantee you that our current views on marriage came straight out of the Roman Catholic church of the middle ages.

Uh, no they didn't- because the Roman Catholic Church doesn't invent sacraments. It's in the very definition of a sacrament if you want to stick it to that particular religious form: A sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace, instituted by Christ and recognized by the Church.- Baltimore Catechism. In the Gospels the wedding at Cana (which is the model of the Catholic Marriage ceremony as we know it) came *before* Christ's public ministry- long before the Apostles were chosen and thus long before the institution of the Church. So even if you're so narrow as to define marriage entirely by Catholic sacramental terms- you're still off by at least a thousand years on the begining of marriage. If you accept the wider meaning of the Church's definition on legitimacy of children- and the meaning of wedlock- you're at least a million years too late.

Barring all that, I have no problem with eliminating marriage benefits and continuing to give benefits to those who RAISE CHILDREN. Ah, yes, we still have the problem of all those little pests out there without families who can be raised by homosexual couples....

I'd have no problem with that either- though I'd like to add in an anti-divorce clause in there as well, for both hetero and homosexual couples intent on raising children. Not necessarily as draconian as the Church- but 18 years after the birth of the last child ought to be a minimum requirment.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991693)

You keep quoting scripture to me. That is not evidence to support your position anymore than me pointing to Aesop's Fables would be evidence for me. You can't point at your religion as justification for your religion being given special treatment in social matters.

Regarding all of your other points about the origin of marriage, I'll take the point about Hindu rituals into consideration and still note that is a religious tenet.

Re:Two Adms Hereby Stricken (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991959)

You keep quoting scripture to me.

If you don't want to hear scripture, then don't try to explain things from a religious point of view.

That is not evidence to support your position anymore than me pointing to Aesop's Fables would be evidence for me.

The scripture presented was not evidence to support my position- it was an explaination of why YOU were wrong specifically about a single Catholic teaching which happens to be taken from scripture- and thus predates the middle ages like you claimed.

You can't point at your religion as justification for your religion being given special treatment in social matters.

And I haven't- as I said before the only reason heterosexual marriage should ever be given special treatement in social matters at all is continuation of the species- and that is biology, NOT religion. Likewise, it points to a definition of marraige that is not especially unique to HUMANITY let alone RELIGION.

Regarding all of your other points about the origin of marriage, I'll take the point about Hindu rituals into consideration and still note that is a religious tenet.

What about the other species that also practice heterosexual marraige, such as the aquatic warbler, the clown shrimp, the harlequin frog, the California mouse, the African hunting dog, the wolf and the silver-backed jackal. There's also the Djungarian hamster (pronounced dj:u:nga:rian), a little critter that breeds when temperatures are around -10 C. The newborn young are incapable of maintaining their own body temperature, and the males therefore fill an important role by performing an act known as "neonate cuddling". All of these species, humans included, have well defined gender roles and both sexes play some part in child rearing as well as original conception.

One could even argue that the lack of the other gender role would hurt the children- an argument against gay parents raising children without input from the non-gay parent. NONE of this is religious- it's all basic biology. But of course, I'm sure you'll say human beings are special and can rise above our biology, correct? But then, wouldn't you be arguing that nobody is given a specific gender role at birth, and thus homosexuals are homosexual by CHOICE?

Amendment D4 (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10987989)

The problem with D4 is what happens when fetuses become viable before three months - then it conflicts with itself. Its going to happen, sooner or later, that science comes out with an artifical womb and we can dispence with the silly notion that "viability" is some watermark as to when abortion becomes a homicide. The only way to Consitutionally legalize abortion is to declare that a fetus is not a "person". Blackmun writes in the opnion of Roe:
A. The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well- known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on reargument. On the other hand, the appellee conceded on reargument that no case could be cited that holds that a fetus is a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Roe essentially endorsed the postion that a fetus is not a person. Every pro-lifer out there thinks, quite reasonably, that a fetus is a person. Therefore, the only Constitutionally way to allow abortion to occur is to define a fetus as a non-person, which is what Roe did. It did, however, recognize the "State's important and legitimate interest in potential life". In the Court's bizarre view, a third trimester fetus mere minutes before being born is not a person, but merely "potential life". It makes no sense, but it's the only way to contrue abortion to not be homicide.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988241)

Simple solution, I believe that abortion needs to be a legal option up to the point of viability. If there is any question about whether a fetus is viable or not, C-section it and give it a chance. After the point of viability, abortion should be illegal but c-section be avaliable.

The pro-life/anti-abortion groups should be climbing all over eachother to provide support for these babies right?

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988293)

Yeah, what he said. On both counts.

If you're against abortion, have a house, and you don't have a foster child, you had better not tell me that you're "pro-life." That's right up there with "start fathering children" after "get a house" on my lifetime to-do list.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990501)

don't have a foster child

Tried it- there are extenuating reasons not to have a foster child due to significant paperwork problems with the current system. It badly needs reforming.

Having said that- I choose to go another way- instead of giving my money and time to quasi-life groups like Right to Life, I volunteer and give my money to BIRTHRIGHT instead. Their homes for unwed mothers are much more in keeping with my beliefs about abortion- and insure a healthy start and better well being for a number of children as opposed to just one.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990757)

Tried it- there are extenuating reasons not to have a foster child due to significant paperwork problems with the current system. It badly needs reforming.

Cool. I can mail you a "MH42 is not a hypocrite" certificate if you want. ;)

I could have given more qualifiers, but no good rallying cry sounds like a contract.

What do we want?
An end to an unsustainable conflict that harms our youth and provides no beneift to the american citizenry!
When do we want it?
At the earliest practicable time!

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988330)

A C-section is a pretty damn invasive procedure for the mother. The father bears no weight of the risk or complications from such a thing. Aside from that, I'm broadly in agreement with you.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990713)

Sure, but the burden of pregnancy will always be on the woman for obvious reasons. An unwilling father bears no burden except a financial responsibility, if he's identified and ordered to pay that is. A big If. The unwilling mother is always the one stuck with the hardships and tough choices. I don't think there'll ever be a way to lift those burdens off her.

Because this unfair burden is placed on women, they need to take the responsibility in preventing an unwanted pregnancy. The point isn't that the woman should always provide contraceptives, but that she's the one that will suffer the most and she needs to protect herself.

Don't wanna go full term and don't want a c-section? Don't get knocked up.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11047152)

The unwilling mother is always the one stuck with the hardships and tough choices. I don't think there'll ever be a way to lift those burdens off her.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by UN Resolution in 1948, states in part:

Special economic circumstances should be provided for the conditions of motherhood and childhood

Financial responsibility is a part of economics, and econoics is a human invention. How those hardships and tough choices are given to her are a human invention. When a human invention goes wrong, we re-engineer the invention. It's high time we did so with economics.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Liora (565268) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988994)

I think that there are some important things that would need to be added, but I'm not able to word them well, so instead pretend I am a superstar author and read the following:

Congress shall make no law preventing abortion in the event of rape, incest, or endangerment of the life of the mother regardless of viability of fetus or paternal consent.

The reason I think those are important is that it doesn't make sense to make a 13 year old girl who didn't realize she was pregnant until six months who was raped by her father carry the child to term and then lose her life when it turns out that there are complications during delivery that could be avoided via abortion. That's an extreme clear-cut case, and yes there are hundreds of shades of grey we would find in any real-life case, not to mention the difficulties of enforcing such things (I don't even want to think about the potential abuses right now), but even the lesser cases are worthy of ponderance in my opinion.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990459)

Hmm...

On the one hand, you're exactly right that the mother's life should trump the infant's at any time. D4:A2 covers that.

On the other, while I want to say "yeah, 13-year old rape victims should be able to get abortions", incorporating a rule like that is too wide IMO. Better to, if the girl can bear the child, bear the child -- and then investigate and lock her father up.

In the case of incest, the child "may" be non-viable -- do an ultrasound or DNA test and find out. In the case of rape, three-six months ("to viablity") should be enough time for the girl to see a doctor.

FWIW, my paralegal-program instructors said that laws should be help up to ridiculous extremes -- that way we can tell if that's what we really want the law to say.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990542)

5 weeks, however, is not enough- and in one very rare instance, could well end up with a girl in a coma in an emergency room, with the fetus already dead and only a 25% chance of the girl coming out alive even with an emergency abortion.

That's why the exception for the doctor to make a unilateral decision is needed.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990788)

I think a third article (D4:A3) would be the right vehicle for this. I'll post another journal with a revised list in a bit.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991154)

Something dealing with the concept of TRIAGE would be adequate, I should think: doctors should always have the right to save the patient that it is possible to save.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10989091)

Simple solution, I believe that abortion needs to be a legal option up to the point of viability. If there is any question about whether a fetus is viable or not, C-section it and give it a chance. After the point of viability, abortion should be illegal but c-section be avaliable.
I'm sorry, but the worth and dignity of human life has nothing to do whether it may or may not survive a C-Section. You are effectively saying, "If it dies, no problem, it wasn't viable, so it wasn't person after all. It it survives, great - it is a peron." That logic is twisted. You would force children to be born prematurely with little or no hope of survival just to determine if an abortion would have been legal?

You, and anyone else reading, must ask yourself what you truly think of fetal life. Is a 12 week fetus with human DNA, 10 fingers, 10 toes, all internal organs, brainwaves, and a beating heart a "person" that has a basic human right to live? Take a stand. If a 12 week fetus has the same intrinsic worth as a full adult, then a woman simply does not have an absolute right to abort when it will kill that fetus. There should be a balancing of rights. If on the other hand you believe that a 12 week fetus does not have the same intrinic worth as an adult, then perhaps you can enlighten me why you feel this way.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10989833)

If on the other hand you believe that a 12 week fetus does not have the same intrinic worth as [a newborn], then perhaps you can enlighten me why you feel this way.

Note the edit: let's compare apples to pears, not salmon.

The start of why I think a non-viable fetus is worth less than an infant is contraception / birth control. A woman who may have sex should be allowed to take action to not concieve a child in the first place -- hence, a zygote that could mature to an adult given the right "artificial womb" is "aborted" prematurely.

At the extreme end, the day before birth a woman should not have the right to end the pregnancy. The child is perfectly viable, even without extreme medical attention, and the mother's right to not bear a child is clearly supplanted by the infant's right to live.

So the question is not "does the fetus have rights", but rather "at what point does the fetus's rights outweigh those of the mother's?"

Some extreme views hold either "a fortnight after birth" or "at conception", but most of us place the balance somewhere between implantation in the womb and birth. In medieval times, the change was the quickening -- the first motion of the child in womb, usually at about the first trimester. (In fact, many 18th century abortion laws had quickening as the line between felony and misdemeanor abortion.)

My view, as you can tell, is that the line crosses when the infant could live without its mother.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990400)

The start of why I think a non-viable fetus is worth less than an infant is contraception / birth control. A woman who may have sex should be allowed to take action to not concieve a child in the first place -- hence, a zygote that could mature to an adult given the right "artificial womb" is "aborted" prematurely.
What does contraception or birth control have to do with the intrinisic worth have a human fetus? The existance of such things has no bearing a discussion that asks "what make a fetus different from an infant".

At the extreme end, the day before birth a woman should not have the right to end the pregnancy. The child is perfectly viable, even without extreme medical attention, and the mother's right to not bear a child is clearly supplanted by the infant's right to live.
It is worth noting that with in-vitro fertilization, a new human life is created completely outside the womb. It may be implanted in the mother, or even another woman, or someday inside a artifical womb. My point is that issues regarding being a "person" must be discussed not in the context of the woman carrying the child. This is why the subject of abortion is related to things like embryonic stem cell research. Should we be creating human organism for the purpose solely of destroying them? What happens when scientists want to harvest cells from fetuses that are 8 weeks old? The mother has nothing to do with these questions. The worth of human life must be decided on its own merits.

So the question is not "does the fetus have rights", but rather "at what point does the fetus's rights outweigh those of the mother's?"
Two points - first, the current law has nothing to do with "fetal rights", a fetus is still largely a legal non-entity (though this is changing). The SCOTUS has said that states can criminalize third trimester abortions because they have a compelling interest in protecting "potential life", not because that so-called "potential life" has any implicit right to exist.

Second, supposing a woman indeed has a right to "not be pregnant", why is abortion necessary for this to exist? A woman who wants to exercise her "right" can simply not have sex. There is no fundamental human right to "sex without consequences", for men or for women. Sex is how we reproduce, which is one thing both Christians and atheists can agree on. Thus in balancing the rights of the fetus with those of the mother, the circumstances of the pregnancy must matter. A woman who chooses to have sex while risking pregancy forfeits the "right to not be pregnant". If there is maternal health issues or the woman was raped, it's a whole different ballgame.

Some extreme views hold either "a fortnight after birth" or "at conception", but most of us place the balance somewhere between implantation in the womb and birth. In medieval times, the change was the quickening -- the first motion of the child in womb, usually at about the first trimester. (In fact, many 18th century abortion laws had quickening as the line between felony and misdemeanor abortion.)

My view, as you can tell, is that the line crosses when the infant could live without its mother.

You are punting on the issue. Are you telling me that the previously 12 week fetus with all organs, brainwaves, and a beating heart is somehow less deserving than a 36 week fetus, or a newborn infant? For the sake of argument, can you, without referring to the mother, tell me why destroying the infant is murder and the fetus is not?

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990714)

Are you telling me that the previously 12 week fetus with all organs, brainwaves, and a beating heart is somehow less deserving than a 36 week fetus, or a newborn infant?

Yes. And a child born with a genetic defect that will keep it from living out the year is less deserving than a child that is in perfect health, and a soldier who is beyond help is less deserving than one who can be healed.

For the sake of argument, can you, without referring to the mother, tell me why destroying the infant is murder and the fetus is not?

Because the fetus in question is not capable of becoming an adult.

In a thousand years when we have transporters and artificial wombs then yes, we can move the bar. Which is why I think we should have the bar be "viable" -- science can change where that bar is a lot easier than we can amend the constitution.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991483)

Yes. And a child born with a genetic defect that will keep it from living out the year is less deserving than a child that is in perfect health, and a soldier who is beyond help is less deserving than one who can be healed.
You are confusing intrinsic worth with, well, something else. I'm pretty sure you are not saying that some people are just worth more than other people, which is pretty much the justifications for racism and eugenics. The life of a child with a genetic defect is precious. The life of a wounded soldier is precious. Why is the life of a fetus of any age not precious?

Now certainly, sometimes tough decisions need to be made. If I have two dying children and one life-saving dose of medicine, I may have to prioritize based on whild child has the greater change of survival, even though each child deserves to live. But with abortion, that is not the case at all. We are prioriting the life of the child (or fetus or whatever you want to call it) against the desire of the mother to violently remove the fetus from her body today, as opposed to removing it from her body in a few months via natural birth.

I am talking about the majority of abortions, not all of them - sometimes an abortion is a justifiable homicide. However, we don't need a "fundamental right to abortion" for this. Similarly, we don't need a "fundamental right to kill people" in order to justify defending ourselves from a burglard entering our house. This is the fallacy of those who want unlimited abortion-on-demand in order to safeguard the health of the mother. In reality, a reasonable electorate can make sensible laws to allow for maternal health exceptions.

Because the fetus in question is not capable of becoming an adult.

In a thousand years when we have transporters and artificial wombs then yes, we can move the bar. Which is why I think we should have the bar be "viable" -- science can change where that bar is a lot easier than we can amend the constitution.

First of all, an infant is no more capable of becoming an adult than a fetus is. Both infants and fetuses are helpless and need to be cared for to achieve adulthood, so clearly that is not a distinguishing characteristic.

Second, what other moral or ethical question in society is tied to such an esoteric question like how well our incubators happen to artifically keep children alive? We're talking about matters of life and death here - not medical devices. If sometime in the future a "miracle child" is born at 20 weeks, or someone performs a fetal transplant at 8 or 12 weeks, does this mean that the age of "viability" has dropped again for every woman on the planet? Must all abortions that are scheduled for the next week over the new age of "viability" then be canceled? Or, if a women is not quite sure when conception occured, should the line be 23 or 22 weeks, just in case the fetus happens to be a person? After all, we're supposed to be trying really hard not to kill people, so let's play it safe.

Again, you are skirting the real issue, and trying to claim on a silly technicality that a 23-week fetus is not a person, but a 24-week fetus is. It is illogical, and legalism at its worst.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10992570)

Both infants and fetuses are helpless and need to be cared for to achieve adulthood, so clearly that is not a distinguishing characteristic.

I specfically did not mention what help, if any, the child would recieve. Quite obvisouly, any child born prematurely requires medical attention -- but enumarating that is not necessarily part of law.

If sometime in the future a "miracle child" is born at 20 weeks, or someone performs a fetal transplant at 8 or 12 weeks, does this mean that the age of "viability" has dropped again for every woman on the planet?

That's up for the doctors to figure out. Not the legislature, and certainly not the constitution.

Again, you are skirting the real issue, and trying to claim on a silly technicality that a 23-week fetus is not a person

No, never. I'm stating that the line between "not a crime to abort" and "a crime to abort" should be drawn when it is possible to remove the child and have it continue to adulthood.

Like the justices in Roe v. Wade, the personhood of the fetus or zygote or sperm & egg doesn't enter into it.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10992952)

No, never. I'm stating that the line between "not a crime to abort" and "a crime to abort" should be drawn when it is possible to remove the child and have it continue to adulthood.

The issue you are skirting is if you consider a 23-week fetus a "person" or not - or for that matter, a 22-week fetus, 21-week fetus, 24-week fetus, 25-week fetus, etc. I don't believe you have directly answered this particular question. Nor have you answered what specifically what bearing being able to survive outside the womb has on "personhood", since a fetus with 0% chance of survival and a "viable" fetus with 1% chance of survival are, for intents and purposes, identical.

Like the justices in Roe v. Wade, the personhood of the fetus or zygote or sperm & egg doesn't enter into it.
Not true - the justices on Roe vs Wade simply summarily declared that a fetus is not a person, ignoring stacks of medical evidence that says human life begins at conception, and the will of the people of Texas. The justices also conceded that if a fetus were a person, there was no way they could strike down the Texas law. Nor did the justices give any reason why the people of Texas are not allowed to extend human rights to fetal life, when it is at least a reasonable proposition.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10993625)

I don't believe you have directly answered this particular question.

Let me spell it out for you then:

Q: What makes an X-week fetus a person and a X-1 week fetus not?

A: Nothing. There's no way to tell. BUT, for the purposes of law, we need to point to something and say "this is a reproductive rights issue" and "that is a case of infantcide."

Not true - the justices on Roe vs Wade simply summarily declared that a fetus is not a person,

Nope. The justicies didn't even have to consider the issue -- the appellee conceded that a fetus was not protected as a person under the 14th amendment. The closest the justices came to saying "a fetus is not a person" was to note that all other clauses in the Constitution that contained the word "person" were only applicable after a person is born, and that considering that and the comparatively permissive abortion laws of the 19th century, the 14th amendment doesn't apply to fetuses.

ignoring stacks of medical evidence that says human life begins at conception

Wrong again.

Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.


The justices also conceded that if a fetus were a person, there was no way they could strike down the Texas law.

Not a person, "Life entitled to Fourteenth Amendment protection." They didn't say "fetuses aren't people", they said "the law doesn't recognize them as such." Which they said to note that in the ONLY case where they'd had to rule on the such, they had made a ruling that slants towards "14th doesn't apply."

Nor did the justices give any reason why the people of Texas are not allowed to extend human rights to fetal life, when it is at least a reasonable proposition.

Sure they did.

The 9th and 14th amendments together embody the conditional right to privacy, which counteracts the state's interest in preserving life and potential life until the viability of the fetus.

I have yet to do a full review of the post-Roe developments in federal abortion law, but the holding in Roe v. Wade itself is conditional both on the continued disagreement as to when "life" begins and the then-limited ability for non-term fetuses to be viable outside of the womb. If Texas were able to prove consensus as to life's begining or prove the prevalence of technologies avaliable to nuture premature births, they could have passed a law outlawing abortion that would pass muster of the attack raised in Roe v. Wade.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10994298)

Let me spell it out for you then:

Q: What makes an X-week fetus a person and a X-1 week fetus not?

A: Nothing. There's no way to tell. BUT, for the purposes of law, we need to point to something and say "this is a reproductive rights issue" and "that is a case of infantcide."

So let us not consider the eyes of the law, let us consider the eyes of God. Is the destruction of a fetus an act of murder? Is it a violation of the 6th commandment? Does God really care about the viability of the fetus and the current state of available medical technology? How does God feel about the intentional destruction of a 12-week fetus, 23-week fetus, 24-week fetus, or newborn? Would Jesus counsel a woman with an unwanted child to get an abortion, or would he want her to bring the baby to term?

Nope. The justicies didn't even have to consider the issue -- the appellee conceded that a fetus was not protected as a person under the 14th amendment. The closest the justices came to saying "a fetus is not a person" was to note that all other clauses in the Constitution that contained the word "person" were only applicable after a person is born, and that considering that and the comparatively permissive abortion laws of the 19th century, the 14th amendment doesn't apply to fetuses.
Read the quote from the decision again:
The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well- known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on reargument. On the other hand, the appellee conceded on reargument that no case could be cited that holds that a fetus is a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.
They argued that the fetus was a person under the 14th, and conceeded only that there was no existing case law to back that up. That argument forced the justices to say:
All this, together with our observation, supra, that throughout the major portion of the l9th century prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word "person," as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn
Talk about hypocrital - they were willing the bend and change the meaning of the Constitution to construe a "right to privacy" out of thin air, but they weren't willing to extend the meaning of "person" to the unborn, when that was the clear desire of the people of Texas.
Sure they did.

The 9th and 14th amendments together embody the conditional right to privacy, which counteracts the state's interest in preserving life and potential life until the viability of the fetus.

I have yet to do a full review of the post-Roe developments in federal abortion law, but the holding in Roe v. Wade itself is conditional both on the continued disagreement as to when "life" begins and the then-limited ability for non-term fetuses to be viable outside of the womb. If Texas were able to prove consensus as to life's begining or prove the prevalence of technologies avaliable to nuture premature births, they could have passed a law outlawing abortion that would pass muster of the attack raised in Roe v. Wade.

Texas did provide consensus that life began at conception, embodied in the laws that banned abortion. People want abortion banned because they think abortion is murder. You may complain that this decision was made by ordinary citizens instead of trained doctors, but quite frankly I don't see why doctors are any more qualified to make this decision. We all know the facts of conception and of fetal development, the rest falls on opinion and moral sensibilities. What happened in Roe was that the Supreme Court imposed their own moral sensibilities onto the people state of Texas. The Supreme Court effectively said, "No - your view that fetal life is more important that the right to get an abortion is not valid", despite the fact there was no explicit Constitutional mandate for this. The Constitution is supposed to be a framework for government, not soapbox for woman's rights.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10994981)

So let us not consider the eyes of the law, let us consider the eyes of God. Is the destruction of a fetus an act of murder? Is it a violation of the 6th commandment?

Not so long as it's performed according to the law of the land. If the law is ungodly, God is perfectly capable of inspiring us to change it. But unless we are going to throw off the government, we should obey the laws and that means that we use our current country's judgement for what is and isn't murder. (Now, He may very well be working to change the law; don't know, wouldn't be surprised either way.)

(And, FWIW, yes, I'm perfectly aware that my above interpretation means that some very horrible things are apparantly "not sin". But then again, man rose up against a lot of those, which implies that Our Lord decided to toss out the relevant governments.)

Does God really care about the viability of the fetus and the current state of available medical technology? How does God feel about the intentional destruction of a 12-week fetus, 23-week fetus, 24-week fetus, or newborn? Would Jesus counsel a woman with an unwanted child to get an abortion, or would he want her to bring the baby to term?

I suppose (as in, I'm not going to presume to know) that God weeps for all deaths, just or not, and he rejoices in all liberties, right or wrong. I would expect to see Him both at a Pro-Life rally and at a Pro-Choice rally, always working on the "rare" part of abortion and leaving the rest to us mortals to muddle out.

It is worth noting that the closest we come to God saying anything about abortion through scripture is a few clear and not so clear statements that the point of motion between "person" and "not person" is something that only He knows, so if we could ask God anything about abortion, I t hink our best question would be "when is the cut-off?"

(Problem is, I think Our Lord is in non-fundamental manners as prone to letting us argue the case out as the SCOTUS. There's a clear tract in Scripture that He wants us to not only act rightly, but know rightness and thus act rightly becase of the rightness and not because of Him.)

Back to diagreement:

Read the quote from the decision again:

Thank you for the correction. Duly noted. However:

Talk about hypocrital - they were willing the bend and change the meaning of the Constitution to construe a "right to privacy" out of thin air, but they weren't willing to extend the meaning of "person" to the unborn, when that was the clear desire of the people of Texas.

The right to privacy did not originate out of thin air in Roe. It was a principle that the court recognized after numerous cases were argued.

And, quite obivously, the people of Texas were NOT in agreement about abortion and the 9th and 14th amendment. If they were, the case would never have been filed.

Texas did provide consensus that life began at conception, embodied in the laws that banned abortion. People want abortion banned because they think abortion is murder.

1: if sufficient political will exists to change the constitution such as to ban abortion, then that's exactly what should be done. But the fact that such amendments haven't passed means that a majority accept the interpretation as-is and do not want abortions outlawed.

2: Texas cannot provide consensus. There are fourty-nine other states that the SCOTUS has to consider, even if one were to ignore typical judical procedure and substitute the opinion of politicians for the medical community. (And even if all fifty states outlawed abortions, the Constitution still says what it says.)

The Constitution is supposed to be a framework for government, not soapbox for woman's rights.

Although I am going to sound crass saying it, the Constitution would never have endured as long as it has if it was only a framework for government. The document is more importantly a "soapbox" for rights than it is a system of government; a king we could endure, but a goverment that does not respect our god-given rights we cannot.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10996318)

Not so long as it's performed according to the law of the land. If the law is ungodly, God is perfectly capable of inspiring us to change it. But unless we are going to throw off the government, we should obey the laws and that means that we use our current country's judgement for what is and isn't murder. (Now, He may very well be working to change the law; don't know, wouldn't be surprised either way.)

(And, FWIW, yes, I'm perfectly aware that my above interpretation means that some very horrible things are apparantly "not sin". But then again, man rose up against a lot of those, which implies that Our Lord decided to toss out the relevant governments.)

Oh boy do you have it wrong - what is considered sinful and what is not has nothing to do with the "law of the land". Let us look to the sermon on the mount, where Jesus took the literal civil law of the day, the law of Isreal, and applied it to our hearts. His entire point was that all the technicalities and loopholes designed to allow people to be "blameless" were meaningless - what matters is what in in our hearts. The fact that your analysis of the situations is able to classify "horrible things" as "not sin" is same the legalism the Pharisees used to do things like justify grounds for divorce, or suing each other in courts, etc. The fact that God hasn't struck down this nation is testament to His mercy - perhaps He is giving us enough time to get our act together.

If your heart convicts you that abortion is a "horrible thing", then perhaps you need to think about if you've picked the wrong side. Before I was a Christian, I used to be afraid "Roe vs Wade" would be struck down. As soon as I realized that a fetus was really just a younger version of myself, my opinion changed, and I slept a whole lot better at night. If God truly works to inspire people to change the law, then maybe you need to consider this.

I suppose (as in, I'm not going to presume to know) that God weeps for all deaths, just or not, and he rejoices in all liberties, right or wrong. I would expect to see Him both at a Pro-Life rally and at a Pro-Choice rally, always working on the "rare" part of abortion and leaving the rest to us mortals to muddle out.

It is worth noting that the closest we come to God saying anything about abortion through scripture is a few clear and not so clear statements that the point of motion between "person" and "not person" is something that only He knows, so if we could ask God anything about abortion, I t hink our best question would be "when is the cut-off?"

(Problem is, I think Our Lord is in non-fundamental manners as prone to letting us argue the case out as the SCOTUS. There's a clear tract in Scripture that He wants us to not only act rightly, but know rightness and thus act rightly becase of the rightness and not because of Him.)

An interesting question is, "how does God feel about abortion". The Bible has plenty of verses that describe God's role in our creation as people. For example, Jeremiah 1:5:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
This often-cited verse is used to demonstrate that it is God who creates us within the womb - that everything we understand as conception or "fetal development" is to be understood as His work. Similarly, there is Psalm 139 13:14
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Another interesting passage is Genesis 30:22-24
Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. She conceived and bore a son and said, "God has taken away my reproach." And she called his name Joseph, saying, "May the LORD add to me another son!"
In the OT, the Lord clearly has dominion over the area of conception - He "opens wombs", enabling women to have children - it is by His hand women become pregnant. Furthermore, pregnancy is supposed to be a profound blessing, for which we should praise God.

You continue to ask "where is the cut-off". Why must there be a cut-off? Who said there must be one? All medical evidence suggests human life begins at conception. The only reason to search for a "cut-off" is so abortion can be phrased as "the termination of a human organism without the taking of a human life". Again, legalism at its worst. Consider the fact that it is so difficult to find a moral "cut-off" that that "cut-off" may not in fact exist.

Would God support abortion in order to save a woman's life? My moral compass tells me "yes", because there is no reason for two people to die instead of one - I can sleep well on that one. Would God support 500,000 women who chose to have sex and got pregnant, abort their healthy children? My moral compass says no, based upon two things, the undeniable medical facts that a fetus is biologically identical to an infant, and God's commandment not to murder.

1: if sufficient political will exists to change the constitution such as to ban abortion, then that's exactly what should be done. But the fact that such amendments haven't passed means that a majority accept the interpretation as-is and do not want abortions outlawed.
Not true - see the current status of state abortion laws [aol.com] . This list is old, but it would surprise me if there has been major movement. Three states have laws that will ban abortion the moment Roe is overturned. 16 states still have their abortion bans on the books. Like it or not, many people in this country oppose unlimited abortion on demand. Now on the federal level, it is ridiculous to expect a three-fourths majority of states on such a divisive issue to requred the 5/9 majority on the Supreme Court. Makes me think that the 5/9 majority was bogus to begin with.
2: Texas cannot provide consensus. There are fourty-nine other states that the SCOTUS has to consider, even if one were to ignore typical judical procedure and substitute the opinion of politicians for the medical community. (And even if all fifty states outlawed abortions, the Constitution still says what it says.)
Under the SCOTUS's twisted view of the ninth amendment, they could create out of thin air any "right" and use it to strike down any piece of legislation they don't like. For example, if they didn't like SUVs, they could create the "right to clean air" to get then banned, or something like that. It's crazy. The fact is, the Constitution is silent on the subject of abortion or privacy. That does not mean the the SCOTUS gets to make up what it says. What happened in "Griswold v Connecticut" was thay they didn't like the concept that the govenment could legislate against contraception, so they invented a "right" and struck it down. The fact that they later invented a "right" that allows women to kill their unborn children and that has torn this country apart is evidence enough that this system of declaring "rights" by judicial fiat is wrong. The framers made in intentionally difficult (but not impossible), to get new fundamental "rights" declared, for this very reason.
lthough I am going to sound crass saying it, the Constitution would never have endured as long as it has if it was only a framework for government. The document is more importantly a "soapbox" for rights than it is a system of government; a king we could endure, but a goverment that does not respect our god-given rights we cannot.
The Constitution is supposed to provide a framework by which the people (remember, We The People...) can govern themselves. The Constitution should be amended to place restrictions on government when the people feel it is necessary to preserve their liberties. The decision on Roe vs Wade created Constitutional law as binding as if people had amended the Constitution directly - but it happened without a single vote of any citizen of this country. They bypassed the system of amendments as explicitly layed out by the framers, that has already been successfully used many times to "keep up with the times". Furthermore, they failed to address, uphold, or evern admint to the God-given rights to fetal life, summarily declaring that they were not "people" as defined by the Constitution.

Temporal bits about Abortion (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10997404)

I'm going to make a different reply for the religious side of the argument in a bit.

You continue to ask "where is the cut-off". Why must there be a cut-off? Who said there must be one? All medical evidence suggests human life begins at conception. The only reason to search for a "cut-off" is so abortion can be phrased as "the termination of a human organism without the taking of a human life". Again, legalism at its worst. Consider the fact that it is so difficult to find a moral "cut-off" that that "cut-off" may not in fact exist.

Cut-off
There has ALWAYS been a point wherein the tissue stops being flesh that's part of the parents and becomes a person all on its own. This point may be at birth, or it may be at conception, or it may be at some point between those two acts where the soul is attached to the body... or it could even happen as much as a year after birth.

Trying to argue that the cut-off doesn't exist is like trying to aruge that there is no difference between "air" and "space." There is a point that it's air, a point that it's space, and a point between those two points wherein the transition happens.

Medical Fact
There is not universal consensus as to when a human life begins. There is not even universal medical consensus as to when human life begins. If there were, abortion would not be an issue.

Legalism
You keep talking about "legalism" as if it's some horrible thing that we can only endure, not something that has a proper place. If we were discussing theology alone, I would agree with you--one cannot lead people to God by insisting that the letter of the law is more important than its message.

But in talking about what the US law says, we're not discussing theology. We're discussing law, and in the US the letter of the law IS what's important -- we're not ruled by kings or tyrants or mobs, we're rulled by the laws that we pass. God does not stand by and enforce our laws, we do--which means that legalism is how we argue and agree as to what our laws mean in situations where they simply are not clear as to what they are supposed to say.

Not true - see the current status of state abortion laws. This list is old, but it would surprise me if there has been major movement. Three states have laws that will ban abortion the moment Roe is overturned.

Not true. Roe, by specifically rendering one of Texas's abortion laws unconstituional, rendered EVERY such law unconstitutional at the same time. Just as Lawrence v. Texas struck down every blue law in the country.

Three states do have declarations that they will outlaw abortion as soon as the federal government permits them do, but at most these would enable them to begin passing a new ban immediately.

***IMPORTANT, READ THIS NEXT PART IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE!***

Like it or not, many people in this country oppose unlimited abortion on demand.

Yes, they do. In fact, the majority of people in this country want limits on abortion -- just as the majority also wants "safe, legal, and rare" abortions. But if we as a nation don't like what Roe v. Wade says, then we as a nation should amend the constitution, not try and get new judges in. If there was a majority who wanted NO abortion, then we'd see either the states and Congress move to ban it or the mass movement of people to gather in conventions to pass an amendment, just as we did to repeal Prohibition.

But if we only have less than a simple majority who want to ban abortion, then we shouldn't -- the half that don't want it at all can make it very very hard to do, and the half that do want it can find a niche for it.

(Hmm... the best way to get an amendment pass would be a "specifically reserved to the states" amendment.)

(End of important stuff.)

Stop. The ninth amendment specifically says that we have rights beyond those enumerated in the Constitution. In order for SCOTUS to act, someone has to pop up and say "Hey, I have the right to Clean Air!". And then as this gets to SCOTUS, assuming it passes the muster of the lower courts, someone on the other side will pop up and argue "Hey, I have the right to drive SUVs!" And then both sides aruge their case and the SOCTUS decides whose rights are more important and what must be done to preserve those.

To say it again, concisely: The SCOTUS doesn't invent rights. It recognizes and prioritizes them.

(Oh, and if you think that abortion has done anything to add to the division in this country, you're both oversimplifying and vastly underestimating our ability to withstand division. Since no one's succeeded yet, I think we're doing rather well at the moment.)

Furthermore, they failed to address, uphold, or evern admint to the God-given rights to fetal life, summarily declaring that they were not "people" as defined by the Constitution.

Yes. Because, if you read every mention of the word "person" in the Constitution looking for context, they all apply AFTER someone was born.

Anyway, that's the temporal, legal side of the argument. Look for the religious side in another post.

Re:Temporal bits about Abortion (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10997899)

Cut-off There has ALWAYS been a point wherein the tissue stops being flesh that's part of the parents and becomes a person all on its own. This point may be at birth, or it may be at conception, or it may be at some point between those two acts where the soul is attached to the body... or it could even happen as much as a year after birth.

Trying to argue that the cut-off doesn't exist is like trying to aruge that there is no difference between "air" and "space." There is a point that it's air, a point that it's space, and a point between those two points wherein the transition happens.

Medical Fact There is not universal consensus as to when a human life begins. There is not even universal medical consensus as to when human life begins. If there were, abortion would not be an issue.

You high-school biology teacher will tell you that lifespan of a human organism begins at conception. At this stage, the DNA from the father and the DNA from the mother unites to form a new DNA sequence for the child. These are simply the facts of reproduction. In 1981, Dr Jerome L LeJune testified before a Congressional subcommittee:
To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.
A professor of medical genetics named Hymie Gordon from the Mayo Clinic testified:
[N]ow we can say, unequivocally, that the question of when life begins--is no longer a question for theological or philosophical dispute. It is an established scientific fact. Theologians and philosophers may go on to debate the meaning of life or the purpose of life, but it is an established fact that all life, including human life, begins at the moment of conception.
Dr Micheline Mathews-Roth from Harvard testified:
[I]n summary, it is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive. In biology, as in any other branch of science, experiments repeated and confirmed by many different workers using many different species of organisms do, indeed, prove that a particular biological finding is true.

And so it is with the biological finding that an organism reproducing by sexual reproduction starts its life as one cell--the zygote--and throughout its existence belongs to the species of its parents. No experiments have disproved this finding.

So, therefore, it is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.

What is apparently in dispute nowadays is whether an undeniable human organism, whether zygote, or embryo, or fetus, is a "person" in the sense that it has basic human rights.
Legalism

You keep talking about "legalism" as if it's some horrible thing that we can only endure, not something that has a proper place. If we were discussing theology alone, I would agree with you--one cannot lead people to God by insisting that the letter of the law is more important than its message.

But in talking about what the US law says, we're not discussing theology. We're discussing law, and in the US the letter of the law IS what's important -- we're not ruled by kings or tyrants or mobs, we're rulled by the laws that we pass. God does not stand by and enforce our laws, we do--which means that legalism is how we argue and agree as to what our laws mean in situations where they simply are not clear as to what they are supposed to say.

I would fully expect the laws of our country to make sense. Roe vs Wade simply does not make sense. Using the age of "viability" to distinguise murder from non-murder turns common sense on its head. Something is legal today and a first-degree homicide the next? Someone invents a better incubator and millions of women just became murderers? That it is ok to abort a fetus with 0% chance of survival, but not OK to abort a fetus with 1% chance? It makes no sense.
Yes, they do. In fact, the majority of people in this country want limits on abortion -- just as the majority also wants "safe, legal, and rare" abortions. But if we as a nation don't like what Roe v. Wade says, then we as a nation should amend the constitution, not try and get new judges in. If there was a majority who wanted NO abortion, then we'd see either the states and Congress move to ban it or the mass movement of people to gather in conventions to pass an amendment, just as we did to repeal Prohibition.
You miss the point - the damage is done. Would you concede that abortion would not be a "fundamental right" if the justices hadn't it declared it one? It is, of course, much easier for a right to be declared in this manner than it would be for a Constitutional amendment to be passed. Why should it take a Constitutional amendment to reverse what was already inappropriately done in the first place? Prohibition was instituted by an amendment, and repealed by an amendment - no problem. However, the "right to abortion" was institutied by judical fiat.
But if we only have less than a simple majority who want to ban abortion, then we shouldn't -- the half that don't want it at all can make it very very hard to do, and the half that do want it can find a niche for it.
Since there has never been a 3/4 majority of states that ever favored abortion-on-demand in the first place, it should not be a Constitutional right - period. The framers spelled out how the Constitution should be modified, and the procedure simply wasn't followed. Do you really think it should be up the unelected Supreme Court to tell us what our rights are? Or should tbe people be doing this through democratic processess layed out by the framers?
Stop. The ninth amendment specifically says that we have rights beyond those enumerated in the Constitution. In order for SCOTUS to act, someone has to pop up and say "Hey, I have the right to Clean Air!". And then as this gets to SCOTUS, assuming it passes the muster of the lower courts, someone on the other side will pop up and argue "Hey, I have the right to drive SUVs!" And then both sides aruge their case and the SOCTUS decides whose rights are more important and what must be done to preserve those.

To say it again, concisely: The SCOTUS doesn't invent rights. It recognizes and prioritizes them.

You are splitting hairs. You can say "invent rights" or you say something like "enfore rights to strike down legislation". Whatever you want to call it, we now have (from Casey) "the right of the woman to choose to have an abortion before viability and to obtain it without undue interference from the State". This is a Constitutional law, as good as if it were an amendment, despire the fact it is found nowhere in the Constitution. The power to change the Constitution should be in the hands of the people, not nine justices whose job is supposed to be only interpreting it.

Re:Temporal bits about Abortion (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10998734)

What is apparently in dispute nowadays is whether an undeniable human organism, whether zygote, or embryo, or fetus, is a "person" in the sense that it has basic human rights

I stand corrected. Very well stated. I shall adjust my view from now on.

Something is legal today and a first-degree homicide the next?

No. Even at its worst, abortion is a different offense than first-degree homicide. And to be clear, even in lands with unlimited abortion, there's still a point where before to kill the thing is not a crime, and later it is. The UK, for example, has occasionaly (and may still have) an excemption decriminalizing infantcide for the first week or so; after seven days, for no obvious change, the act is now a crime.

And if you think abortion is a grey area, you haven't looked very deeply into how legal systems work. If I drive 79 1/2 miles per hour, I get a ticket; if I drive 80, I'm thrown in jail. If I pick up a metal bar when I go to break up a fight, I'm a murderer; if I setp in and grab a bar in that alley, it's self defense. If i walk around naked in my own house it's my privacy; if I lean out my back window, it's indecent exposure.

Abortion law makes sense and is entirely consistent with how legal systems work. You don't have to agree with it, but it does make sense.

However.

You miss the point - the damage is done. Would you concede that abortion would not be a "fundamental right" if the justices hadn't it declared it one? It is, of course, much easier for a right to be declared in this manner than it would be for a Constitutional amendment to be passed. Why should it take a Constitutional amendment to reverse what was already inappropriately done in the first place? Prohibition was instituted by an amendment, and repealed by an amendment - no problem. However, the "right to abortion" was institutied by judical fiat.

You are missing the most basic elemnt of the American federal system. Rights are not created by the constitution or congress or the courts -- they exist in a natural state, and the government is simply barred from encroaching on them on any but the most explicit circumstnaces.

Prohibiition was a wholesale denial of a right to the entire country -- the sort of thing that was intended to be difficult, as it's the government encroaching on liberty. Abortion was a recognition of the right of a citizen to determine their own fate; a reduction of the government, something that federalism was designed to make easy to do.

The power to change the Constitution should be in the hands of the people, not nine justices whose job is supposed to be only interpreting it.

But they didn't change it. They simply applied what it said to the changing circumstance; you may as well argue that they "invented" a right to vote, or a right to not have the government watch you in your bedroom, or a right to speak or arm oneself agianst tyranny.

Re:Temporal bits about Abortion (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10999018)

And if you think abortion is a grey area, you haven't looked very deeply into how legal systems work. If I drive 79 1/2 miles per hour, I get a ticket; if I drive 80, I'm thrown in jail. If I pick up a metal bar when I go to break up a fight, I'm a murderer; if I setp in and grab a bar in that alley, it's self defense. If i walk around naked in my own house it's my privacy; if I lean out my back window, it's indecent exposure.
The law must use arbitrary dividing lines on occasion, another example would be statatory rape. The problem with the "viability" test is what I have stated, that "viability" is, at best, an opinion. I could make a case, today, that *all* fetuses are viable because in-vitro fertilization proves that even zygotes can survive outside a natural womb.

You are missing the most basic elemnt of the American federal system. Rights are not created by the constitution or congress or the courts -- they exist in a natural state, and the government is simply barred from encroaching on them on any but the most explicit circumstnaces.

Prohibiition was a wholesale denial of a right to the entire country -- the sort of thing that was intended to be difficult, as it's the government encroaching on liberty. Abortion was a recognition of the right of a citizen to determine their own fate; a reduction of the government, something that federalism was designed to make easy to do.

...

But they didn't change it. They simply applied what it said to the changing circumstance; you may as well argue that they "invented" a right to vote, or a right to not have the government watch you in your bedroom, or a right to speak or arm oneself agianst tyranny.

Of course the changed the Constitution! The entire job of the Supreme Court is to review the Constitutionality of existing legislation. To do this, they use two things - the Constitution, and precedent. My point all along has been the precedent is as good as changing the Constutution itself, because it provides a basis for striking down laws. The creating of precendent is equivalent to modifying the Constitution directly, in as much as states are no longer allowed to enforce certain laws.

As to the question of where "rights" come from, it does not really matter if they are invented by man or existed ahead of time. The question faced by the framers was, "how can a bunch of men agree on what our rights are". The answer was, of course, through democracy. Democracy is what enables men to agree on what rights exist.

As for the "right to abortion", the mere fact that people of good conscience disagree if this is even a "right" or not is evidence in itself that it must not be one. For half the country it is about reducing the role of government in the lives of women, for the other half it is expanding the rights of the unborn. Both, I would say are good causes. However, in my honest opinion, the life of the fetus trumps the "privacy" of woman for one reason - most unwanted pregnancies could have been prevented.

The the crux of the issue is that no citizen, ever, voted that abortion should be a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. Today, Congress can't even pass the FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act), intended to codify the law created in Roe - this tells that the precendent set by Roe could never have been passed in the form of a Constitutional amendment. Can't you see why that is a breakdown in our federal system? Unfortunately, because the issue is so divisive, that it is unlikely for an amendment to swing the other way. Therefore, the only recourse left to those who oppose abortion is to get they own justices on the court who will reverse the precedent.

Religious bits about Abortion (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10997576)

Oh boy do you have it wrong - what is considered sinful and what is not has nothing to do with the "law of the land".

In three very specific cases, it does. Namely, Murder, Theft, and Adultury. Goodly Governments -- those that Christians or Jews or Muslims may submit to the rule of -- designate what is and isn't the permissiable time to kill someone, what is and isn't someone's private property, and who is and isn't married.

Because of that first one--determining what is and isn't an acceptable time to kill--doctors performing abortions in countries with abortion laws who do not in the course of that act commit additional sin may hold themselves blameless.

"additional sin", of course, would be something like forgetting the potential life that is going to be ended, or the aungish that the mother may consider later. But if a girl who was raped by her father gets an abortion, and you tell me that the doctor committeed murder -- well, there's a clear sin there, and it's not the man in the white coat.

The fact that your analysis of the situations is able to classify "horrible things" as "not sin" is same the legalism the Pharisees used to do things like justify grounds for divorce, or suing each other in courts, etc.

Not so. The Pharisees worked on the written law and ignored the root, favoring the words of the written law to do what they would. I see the root of the law, and I see nothing that even comes close to applying to modern-day abortion.

If your heart convicts you that abortion is a "horrible thing", then perhaps you need to think about if you've picked the wrong side.

To my heart, as to the 14th amendment, a fetus is a non-person. It has no face, it takes no breath, and it has no existance beyond a condition of the mother. When it is born, then I may know it, but until it is born only the mother and God may know of it, and any decision to abort should be left to them. Not to the courts, not to the churches -- the mother and God. (The woman should bring her husband into the matter, but that's something else entirely.)

So, even if you tell me that abortion is a horrible, horrible thing -- I will still tell you that we must let the horrible thing abide, and allow those whose place it is to confront and decide this horrible thing confront it and decide its existance.

In the OT, the Lord clearly has dominion over the area of conception - He "opens wombs", enabling women to have children - it is by His hand women become pregnant. Furthermore, pregnancy is supposed to be a profound blessing, for which we should praise God.

True. But God's hand seems not to work to move individual grains of sand, but rather whole beaches at once. While we should give thanks for the souls of all our children, we need not lie to ourselves when we ask "is this pregnancy truly from God?"

Since God made us whole, and there are still births and malformed birhts and the simple ability to abort at all, it seems that God wanted our women to have the chance not to become mothers or bear a child when it was best not to.

Re:Religious bits about Abortion (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10998123)

In three very specific cases, it does. Namely, Murder, Theft, and Adultury. Goodly Governments -- those that Christians or Jews or Muslims may submit to the rule of -- designate what is and isn't the permissiable time to kill someone, what is and isn't someone's private property, and who is and isn't married.

Because of that first one--determining what is and isn't an acceptable time to kill--doctors performing abortions in countries with abortion laws who do not in the course of that act commit additional sin may hold themselves blameless.

"additional sin", of course, would be something like forgetting the potential life that is going to be ended, or the aungish that the mother may consider later. But if a girl who was raped by her father gets an abortion, and you tell me that the doctor committeed murder -- well, there's a clear sin there, and it's not the man in the white coat.

Let me get this straight - you are claiming that with murder, theft, and adultery, God's only standard is whether or not those actions are violations of the current civil laws? Under your analysis, a doctor that performs an abortion here is blameless, yet if he performs the exact same procedure in Japan where abortions are illegal, the doctor has committed a sin? I don't think so. God cursed Cain for murdering Abel before there was such a thing as civil government. Prohibitions against murder stem from Creation itself, not from the civil laws of Isreal

The sermon on the mount was all about how God judges us based on our hearts and actions, not if we follow some rules. For example, on adultery, Jesus says in Matthew 5:28, "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Adultery has nothing to do with civil government, but whether or not you are upholding God's moral law.

Not so. The Pharisees worked on the written law and ignored the root, favoring the words of the written law to do what they would. I see the root of the law, and I see nothing that even comes close to applying to modern-day abortion.
So once again - destroying a fetus with ten fingers, ten toes, brain waves, teeth forming in the gums, and a beating heart for no reason whatsoever is not a violation of "you shall not murder". Common - you have to admit that it at least may be murder. But let us not worry about murder, let is consider Jesus's words "Love your neighbor as yourself". Is aborting a fetus for no particular reason a "loving" thing to do? Wouldn't it have been tragic if your mother had chosen to abort you?
To my heart, as to the 14th amendment, a fetus is a non-person. It has no face, it takes no breath, and it has no existance beyond a condition of the mother. When it is born, then I may know it, but until it is born only the mother and God may know of it, and any decision to abort should be left to them. Not to the courts, not to the churches -- the mother and God. (The woman should bring her husband into the matter, but that's something else entirely.)
For one thing, a fetus most definitely has a face, which you can see with modern imaging equipment, or after the abortion occurs. Second, it appears with this statement that you would support the right to third trimester abortions, which the courts have said can still be criminalized. Third, I don't believe you. You are telling be a fetus mere minutes before it is born is not a person? That someone stabbing a pregnant women through the belly killing her 9 month fetus hasn't committed murder?

I would hope that you would at least concede that a fetus, mere hours or minutes away from being born, has the same right to life as anyone already born.

So, even if you tell me that abortion is a horrible, horrible thing -- I will still tell you that we must let the horrible thing abide, and allow those whose place it is to confront and decide this horrible thing confront it and decide its existance.
Actually, I asked you - do you think abortion is a horrible thing? Let be specific as well - the surgical procedure known as an abortion where a fetus is destroyed, not abortion in general.

True. But God's hand seems not to work to move individual grains of sand, but rather whole beaches at once. While we should give thanks for the souls of all our children, we need not lie to ourselves when we ask "is this pregnancy truly from God?"

Since God made us whole, and there are still births and malformed birhts and the simple ability to abort at all, it seems that God wanted our women to have the chance not to become mothers or bear a child when it was best not to.

So if I follow your argument - because of the fact that it is technically possible to kill a fetus in the womb, then therefore God approves of it? Er, ok. What about all the horrible things that exist in the world, are they perfectly ok on God's eyes as well? Thats a pretty poor argument for saying God has no qualms whatsoever with abortion.

Re:Religious bits about Abortion (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10998871)

I don't think so. God cursed Cain for murdering Abel before there was such a thing as civil government. Prohibitions against murder stem from Creation itself, not from the civil laws of Isreal

I patently disagree. If the talmudic law were woven into creation, God would have slain Cain as was the punnishment for murder in the nation of Israel. But since God marked Cain and cast him out, Cain must have committed a different Sin -- namely, refutation of his duty to his brother and malacceptance of his lot in life.

Had Cain not killed Abel, his punnishment may very well have been the same.

Common - you have to admit that it at least may be murder.

No, I don't. It may be SIN, but it's not murder. And the sinfulness or lack of any act, from abortion to murder to the mere lack of love for ones fellow man, is something that we must never presume to judge, for we are all sinners and all sins may be forgiven.

Is aborting a fetus for no particular reason a "loving" thing to do? Wouldn't it have been tragic if your mother had chosen to abort you?

If my mother had chosen to abort me, she would not have married my father. She may have graduated from University twenty years earlier than she planned, worked a much better job, and met a much better husband. And my father would have likely encountered his high school sweetheart and married her. They very likely would have lived different, better lives having not bound themselves to each other.

God would likely have either placed my soul in a different fetus, or I would have spent the years I spent living in some other circumstance. My wife would likely not live as happily had I not entered her life, but she would have found accompanyment.

To return your rather overpersonaliziation of the discussion, do you realize how little love you show for women who do have abortions by catagorically denying whatever reasons they may have to undergo the procedure? It goes against what is a very basic urge in humanity, and I have yet to meet a woman who had an abortion without a good deal more sadness and regret than if she had simply miscarried.

By labeling abortionists and abortionees as sinners and dismissing their reasons, you make yourself kin to those who tried to stone a prostitute in our Lord's presence.

For one thing, a fetus most definitely has a face, which you can see with modern imaging equipment, or after the abortion occurs.

Not at the earliest moment of conception, and to my heart nothing that cannot emote is a face.

Second, it appears with this statement that you would support the right to third trimester abortions, which the courts have said can still be criminalized.

Did you read my journal? Abortion of a fetus that could survive outside of the womb -- the very same measure that was used in Roe to mark the third trimester -- is exactly what stick I want to use to say "no abortions."

Third, I don't believe you. You are telling be a fetus mere minutes before it is born is not a person?

Not to me--it may be, but it's a person I have no way to meet. When my sister-in-law goes into the hospital, it's as a very pregnant woman to everyone she meets. When she gives birth, we all get to meet that person God made within her.

That someone stabbing a pregnant women through the belly killing her 9 month fetus hasn't committed murder?

Depends on the jurisdiction.

I would hope that you would at least concede that a fetus, mere hours or minutes away from being born, has the same right to life as anyone already born.

See the orignal journal. I already answered that.

Actually, I asked you - do you think abortion is a horrible thing? Let be specific as well - the surgical procedure known as an abortion where a fetus is destroyed, not abortion in general.

Yes, I think abortion is a bad thing. I think euthinasia, war, divorce, and many other things are also bad things. But I also think that we need to find a place for these bad things in our society, because no matter how enlightened we get as a nation we will still need to have these bad things ready, even if we never use them again.

So if I follow your argument - because of the fact that it is technically possible to kill a fetus in the womb, then therefore God approves of it? Er, ok. What about all the horrible things that exist in the world, are they perfectly ok on God's eyes as well? Thats a pretty poor argument for saying God has no qualms whatsoever with abortion.

God the Father created all things, good and evil. Every wicked thing in the world exists because it serves some part of His will.

How many women through the ages have prayed not to be pregnant? Why can God not answer those prayers by making a way for a woman to not be pregnant?

Re:Religious bits about Abortion (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11000990)

Just a couple of points:
I patently disagree. If the talmudic law were woven into creation, God would have slain Cain as was the punnishment for murder in the nation of Israel. But since God marked Cain and cast him out, Cain must have committed a different Sin -- namely, refutation of his duty to his brother and malacceptance of his lot in life.

Had Cain not killed Abel, his punnishment may very well have been the same.

Genesis 4:8-11:
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.
Clearly God was punishing Cain for the murder of his brother. The prohibition against murder is again made in Genesis 9:5-6:
From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image."
This passages institutes capital punishment as the appropriate penalty for murder. These prohibitions against murder in Genesis are quite clear.

Now as to the subject of abortion itself, you have made the claim that an abortion is "sinful", yet not necessarily "murder".

So let us first consider the unprovoked assault and destruction of a fetus that is minutes away from being born. Remember, this fetus is biologically identical to an infant. The only meaningful difference is that the fetus is in the mother's womb, and the infant is one foot away on the mother's breast. What would Jesus say - that the fetus is a "human being", created in God's image, and that destroying it would be a terrible thing? Or would he say that destroying it is no problem at all (which of course he wouldn't say)?

If this is not "murder", then what is it? There are plenty of passages that indicate God's role in the "miracle of life", conception and fetal development. We also know that man is created in the image of God, and that murder is prohibited for this very reason. Thus my question is, what about a fetus makes it somehow less in the "image of God" than an infant to the point where it not not murder?

Now, earlier in this discussion, you said:

Q: What makes an X-week fetus a person and a X-1 week fetus not?

A: Nothing. There's no way to tell. BUT, for the purposes of law, we need to point to something and say "this is a reproductive rights issue" and "that is a case of infantcide."

This logic is true for to the moral weight of destroying an fetus. Which is worse, killing an infant that was just born, or killing an infant one hour from birth? The answer is that it is the same. Both are equally heinous. Then, which is worse, killing a fetus one hour old or two hours old? X hours old or X - 1 hours old? It's always "the same".
God the Father created all things, good and evil. Every wicked thing in the world exists because it serves some part of His will.

How many women through the ages have prayed not to be pregnant? Why can God not answer those prayers by making a way for a woman to not be pregnant?

Because God already gave women a way to not be pregnant - its called "not having sex". God promises to forgive our sins and let us into the Kingdom of Heaven, not to have unlimited sex without worrying about how to care for any children we might accidentally make. You may not like this answer, but it is the truth. Not only that, abstinence is a better solution than abortion, because it doesn't require killing a fetus (which we all agree is a horrible thing), and it is safer for the woman.

Re:Religious bits about Abortion (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001378)

Clearly God was punishing Cain for the murder of his brother.

Not so clear. If God was punnishing Cain for the murder, then why did he ask Cain where Abel was, and why did he not strike Cain down?

There was sin there but, as I pointed out, it wasn't murder.

The prohibition against murder is again made in Genesis 9:5-6:

That's not murder. That's killing. It's a subtle yet important difference. And, even if we ignore that point, the verse you quoted is clearly part of God's covenant with Noah, not the natural fabric of creation.

Now as to the subject of abortion itself, you have made the claim that an abortion is "sinful", yet not necessarily "murder".

Yes, because "murder" is "killing a human in a situation proscribed by human society." We are supposed to obey the laws of any government that we submit ourselves to, and to do otherwise is sin. (We can work to change the law, or we can leave the country, but we can't just say "that rule doesn't apply to me.")

(So, any argument you make that abortion SHOULD be murder is irrelevant; it's determined by the law of the land, exactly as who my wife is and what my property is both are.)

FWIW, I suppose that Christ would say to a woman wanting abortion "why do you not want this child?", and then depending on her answer and her faith he would change the situation, either finding them both a safe home or changing the child so it is not the child of the man that raped her. He might even simply make the child go away, if given the right circumstance.

This logic is true for to the moral weight of destroying an fetus. Which is worse, killing an infant that was just born, or killing an infant one hour from birth? The answer is that it is the same. Both are equally heinous. Then, which is worse, killing a fetus one hour old or two hours old? X hours old or X - 1 hours old? It's always "the same".

Nothing in life is ever that simple.

OF COURSE there is a different moral weight in killing a born-child and killing a not-yet-born child. There is a difference between aborting after one week and abortion after one month.

Because God already gave women a way to not be pregnant - its called "not having sex". God promises to forgive our sins and let us into the Kingdom of Heaven, not to have unlimited sex without worrying about how to care for any children we might accidentally make.

Sex is not a sin. Not having children is not a sin. A married couple deciding not to have a child until they can raise that child properly is not a sin, and if that same couple uses to abort an unexpected pregnancy, it is also NOT A SIN.

You may not like the answer, but it's the truth. God does not individually alter the world to create each and every child. He made women so that they bear children, and His part in birth is to send the soul to children that will be born. Since God can see all things and all choices, he would not send an innocent soul to a child that is to be stillborn or aborted.

While there are things that are always sins, there are also things that are only sins some of the time, and those things are in turn NOT sin some of the time. You may not like it, but this is the world that God made for us.

Not only that, abstinence is a better solution than abortion, because it doesn't require killing a fetus (which we all agree is a horrible thing), and it is safer for the woman.

Abstinence is in many ways a worse solution than abortion for married couples. Not having sex when you are married is a flagrant violation of how we are supposed to behave. It elminates what is the most primal part of marital intimacy, and to remove it would be a worse sin than casual abortion.

The right answer today is for married couples to choose a method of birth control, and take each unexpected pregnancy as a commandment from God to consider if they are going to have children now or not.

God never forced any prophet to become one; he would not force a dutiful wife to become a mother, either.

(Yes, that means that I would be in favor of denying abortions to unmarried couples save in instances of medical urgency or nonconsentual conception -- but I'm also in favor of denying sex to nonmarried persons.)

Re:Religious bits about Abortion (1)

Tikiman (468059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002248)

Not so clear. If God was punnishing Cain for the murder, then why did he ask Cain where Abel was, and why did he not strike Cain down?
I see no real reason to continue down this path if you cannot see something so obvious that God disapproved of the fact that Cain killed Abel. "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground." Your desire to define "murder" as "whatever society says is murder" simply is not biblical. One man killing another out of cold blood is murder and an offense to God, as demonstrated by Cain and Abel. This is true no matter what society says.

(Yes, that means that I would be in favor of denying abortions to unmarried couples save in instances of medical urgency or nonconsentual conception -- but I'm also in favor of denying sex to nonmarried persons.)
Sorry, but I just have to comment on this as well. Am I missing something, but isn't this exactly the opposite if what your originally proposed amendment was supposed to do?

Re:Religious bits about Abortion (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002855)

God disapproved of the fact that Cain killed Abel.

Cain killed Abel, and then denied any responsibility to watch his brother. God disapproved of this -- but it is not clear from the text precisely WHY. (I'll note that you never bothered to answer why, if Cain was a murderer, God not only did not strike him down, but marked him as one that no man could strike down -- a direct contradiction of the covenant he would make with Noah only four chapters later.)

Much of the Old Testament suffers from the same problem: language simply was not developed enough to convey the proper meaning, so we left with unclear answers and shades of meaning.

Your desire to define "murder" as "whatever society says is murder" simply is not biblical.

Sorry, it is. There is a significant difference between harag, or "kill", and ratsah, or "murder."

Am I missing something, but isn't this exactly the opposite if what your originally proposed amendment was supposed to do?

It's different, but not contradictory. There are significant changes to society that would be necessary to deny sexual contact to non-married persons, and the best mechanism to enforce these would be prohibitions against sex, not prohibitions against murder; a non-married person in need of an abortion obviously had sex, so they can be prosecuted for that crime.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990462)

Ok, this deals with my objection as well- since a malformed fetus or a medical problem with the pregnancy make the fetus nonviable. I like it, a neat solution.

The pro-life/anti-abortion groups should be climbing all over eachother to provide support for these babies right?

Certainly anybody with a "womb to tomb" mentality should- I would point out though that viability is not a bright line- and it's healthier for the fetus to stay in the mother's womb a full 38 weeks. Thus, pro-life people should be willing to PAY mothers to be incubators at 1/2 the full cost. Because that's what it comes down to- for every extra day the baby stays in the mother's womb, that's TWO less days in the incubator at current technology that has now pushed viability back to 24 weeks and counting...thus, the cost effective solution is to take the per-day cost of putting the baby in the incubator- and paying any woman to be pregnant a per-diem past viability.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990763)

Definitely. If the pro-life groups would focus less on damning the mothers and more on providing them with viable options and support, I think there would be a real difference and a greater incentive for them to go full term.

But, I'm not sure they're so much pro-life as they are anti-abortion.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991087)

Definitely. If the pro-life groups would focus less on damning the mothers and more on providing them with viable options and support, I think there would be a real difference and a greater incentive for them to go full term.

Based on what I've seen, mere application of UDHR Article 25 to our economy would result in a 90-99% decrease in the abortion rate, depending on whose numbers you believe

But, I'm not sure they're so much pro-life as they are anti-abortion.

I personally don't think they're either- after all, if abortion and gay marriage go away, where will they find their scapegoats to keep blaming their inept handling of the economy on?

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

miu (626917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10993852)

I personally don't think they're either- after all, if abortion and gay marriage go away, where will they find their scapegoats to keep blaming their inept handling of the economy on?

I don't know if inept is the correct word since their view of a proper economy is based on a different set of axioms. Regardless of what you think of the new conservative handling of the economy - the culture wars have a huge number of battles to be fought, even if they were to "win" the war against abortion and gay marriage there would remain any number of issues they could declare to be the next foe of right thinking folk.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11045922)

I don't know if inept is the correct word since their view of a proper economy is based on a different set of axioms.

True enough- I shouldn't have used inept. Should have used selfish instead (since that's the difference between my axioms and theirs- whether the few or the many are allowed to win).

Regardless of what you think of the new conservative handling of the economy - the culture wars have a huge number of battles to be fought, even if they were to "win" the war against abortion and gay marriage there would remain any number of issues they could declare to be the next foe of right thinking folk.

Trouble is, most of the rest of the ones I can think of are practiced more by the Republican leadership themselves than just about anybody else in America. Amazing how many wives these guys have divorced, women these guys have harrassed, children these guys have abused. More closet skeletons than you can shake a stick at.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

miu (626917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048206)

Well to my way of thinking I don't think any electable politician could do better than pay lip service to the 10 commandments or the teachings of Jesus. "Turn the other cheek", "Build up treasures in heaven rather than on earth", "What you do to the least of my brothers you do to me as well", "Have no gods before me" and so on are all fine and good for Christmas cards and snoozing through on Sunday, but there is no chance of a millitary/economic leader or someone interested in temporal power applying them in the real world - actual practice of those teachings requires obedience and humility, traits rare in those with a drive to power.

Because of this I have to think that religious politicians are hypocrites of the highest order and would have no problem with declaring "war" on vices which they themselves practice. The bible makes provisions for divorce and you would have a hard time proving sexual harassment (often the time frames are ancient on these in any case) or child abuse, also drug use and alcoholism are often acknowledged past vices of the deeply religious convert.

Re:Amendment D4 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11052539)

Well to my way of thinking I don't think any electable politician could do better than pay lip service to the 10 commandments or the teachings of Jesus. "Turn the other cheek", "Build up treasures in heaven rather than on earth", "What you do to the least of my brothers you do to me as well", "Have no gods before me" and so on are all fine and good for Christmas cards and snoozing through on Sunday, but there is no chance of a millitary/economic leader or someone interested in temporal power applying them in the real world - actual practice of those teachings requires obedience and humility, traits rare in those with a drive to power.

Which is EXACTLY why I'm running on the Technocrat ticket in 2008. I'll probably lose, but it doesn't matter.

Because of this I have to think that religious politicians are hypocrites of the highest order and would have no problem with declaring "war" on vices which they themselves practice. The bible makes provisions for divorce and you would have a hard time proving sexual harassment (often the time frames are ancient on these in any case) or child abuse, also drug use and alcoholism are often acknowledged past vices of the deeply religious convert.

True enough- though I think I'm building a platform that is different (never have abused drugs or alcohol- have used them and didn't like them so I never got adicted). Of course- I also marry the culture war to the class war, and match the economic strata of those who are the most religious in a non-hypocritical way (thus, for instance, I'm for cutting taxes on payroll and raising them on capital gains).

Rights... (1)

ndogg (158021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988282)

Did we give states that didn't want blacks or women voting an out in the constitution? Why can't we do the same for homosexuals?

Gay marriage is a civil rights issue, and it needs the same protections as that of heterosexual marriage.

Re:Rights... (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988486)

I see it as a religious issue. Marriage needs to be wiped from the government's radar altogether. Then, churches can do whatever they want.

If people want benefits from the government, marriages performed by both the church AND the state should be recognized as "civil unions" and that should be the common denominator for privileges.

Re:Rights... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988516)

Did we give states that didn't want blacks or women voting an out in the constitution? Why can't we do the same for homosexuals?

Because a black man cannot decide to be white, nor can a woman decide to be a man. Homosexuals, on the other hand, can enter into loveless sexless marriages just as well as anyone else.

And we *did* give states that didn't want integration an out, for close to a hundred years. Considering that we don't treat homosexuality as a crime or a disease anymore, the next tactical step is to get legal protection and let the acceptance happen in its own time.

I totally agree that giving legal weight to homosexual couplings is a civil rights issue. But calling that same coupling "marriage" is not.

And on an aside, there has never been a state that treated hetero-unions and homo-unions the same. There have been lots of states that treated men and women the same, and lots that treated blacks and non-blacks the same. But even in states where homosexual acts were accepted as normal, they were treated as fundamentally differnet from heterosexual acts.

ERA (1)

miu (626917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988777)

The last real chance the ERA had I think was in the late 80s. The political and social consciousness was vastly more liberal at that point and NOW and other feminist organizations had not yet alienated an entire generation of males.

Even if this were to pass I think the DOD would trot out all their old arguments about men and women in combat. Even if the ERA were to pass I think the military would get a blanket exemption.

People are more gun shy of ERA now too. (1)

TheConfusedOne (442158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10989434)

Seeing as how MA's ERA language was used by the court to justify requiring same-sex marriages then people would lobby even harder against an ERA now than before.

Re:People are more gun shy of ERA now too. (1)

miu (626917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10989613)

Exactly the kind of thing I am talking about. People will come out hard against the things that an ERA would lead to, and as a result against the ERA itself. In my mind national recognition of CU is one of those consequences.

Also I meant the late 70s (not the 80s) were the last time the national ERA had a real chance - the "flower power" generation had settled into maturity but the "greed decade" had not yet flowered - Reagan was not yet a national candidate and liberalism was still viewed as natural to anyone younger than 40.

Re:ERA (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10989937)

Even if this were to pass I think the DOD would trot out all their old arguments about men and women in combat. Even if the ERA were to pass I think the military would get a blanket exemption.

Based on how female soldiers have performed in recent wars, I wager that a simple "segregation for living arrangements" compromise would do it.

Re:ERA (0)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990611)

The political and social consciousness was vastly more liberal at that point and NOW and other feminist organizations had not yet alienated an entire generation of males.

That alienation, to me, is reason enough to vote for the ERA. As a male who appears white (despite a mixed background of several minorities) and who is NOT from a priviledged family, I often feel that current laws are working against me. The ERA would fix that problem once and for all.

Re:ERA (1)

miu (626917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991024)

I think that the ERA makes sense for that reason (among many others) when you think about it, but people are a lot more emotional than that. I've always considered myself a 'small f' feminist in the sense that I believe that women should enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as men, but after meeting a large number of 'large F' Feminists in my late teens and early twenties I learned that that term seemed to mean 'castrating bitch' to most women who apply the term to themselves.

I hope it won't take another 20 years for the politics of gender to swing back the other direction, but for the moment I really believe that Feminism is its own worst enemy as far as PR goes.

'Marriage' vs 'Civil Union' (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 9 years ago | (#10988930)

Speaking as a man with a wife, we're not 'married.' We're civilly-unioned. We went up in front of a Justice of the Peace, did a secular ceremony, signed our marriage papers, and done.

'Marriage' is a religious concept; ALL that the Constitution should recognize is a Civil Union. If you want to go up in front of a religious figure and swear to be faithful, fine. You can do that without the State recognizing you as a Union. Or, do what most couples do now, and do both.

Don't fix what ain't broke. (1)

ces (119879) | more than 9 years ago | (#10989470)

Your D1 is already covered by the Equal Rights Amendment, first proposed in 1923. So far 35 of the required 38 states have ratified the ERA.
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.


Your D3 might be a good idea but I would word it as follows:
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, all provisions of the Constitution, including all Amendments, and all rulings by the Federal courts.

I agree with the premise that the Congress should be given the specific enumerated power to enforce all other sections of the Constitution.

As for D2 let's see what the states come up with first and what the courts have to say.

With D4 I am uncomfortable with anything that doesn't either:
a) Let Roe v. Wade stand as is. Barring another Supreme Court Ruling or Constitutional Amendment this is the law of the land.
b) Allow states to do their own thing with regard to Abortion. While many states would be more restrictive than Roe currently allows, some like my state (Washington) would not.

And, yes, dispite being a bleeding-heart, long-haired, commie, pinko, liberal I am a closet Federalist.

D4, Article 1 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990206)

I'd ammend it to include the following logic statement (Consent of Mother, Father) OR Competent Physician, based on a very rare problem that can occur with ectopic pregnancy which is perfectly reasonable even by Roman Catholic Church theology on abortion (still evil, but more evil would be doing nothing) where the father probably can't be found in time and the mother is already in a coma due to the ectopic pregnancy. This actually can occur within the first 5 weeks of a pregnancy with a mother who does not keep track of her female cycle- it's rare but it DOES happen. Basically, what has happened in this case is that the woman doesn't even know that she is pregnant, the fetus has implanted in a fallopian tube instead of the womb, and has grown to the point of the fallopian tube bursting. Death of the fetus has already occured at this point; death of the mother is usually 20-40 minutes away; an emergency abortion is the ONLY known treatment and even that is only 25% effective. We cannot have an abortion ammendment hamper a doctor's split-second judgement in this case, such an ammendment will cause the death of women.

I'm pro-life- and I'd vote for D4 if it included this change.

Re:D4, Article 1 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990508)

What if we re-worded D4:A2 to make it clear that "life of the mother" trumps the father's right?

Not to mention that non-viable fetuses -- those that are stilborn, have no brain cavity, etc., etc., -- should be excluded as well.

Re:D4, Article 1 (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10990677)

What if we re-worded D4:A2 to make it clear that "life of the mother" trumps the father's right?

It helps- but still doesn't get past the requirement in D4:A1 for it to be the MOTHER's decision- if the mother is alreay in shock/coma due to internal bleeding it doesn't help.

Not to mention that non-viable fetuses -- those that are stilborn, have no brain cavity, etc., etc., -- should be excluded as well.

That, on the other hand, would help this rare case- since the fetus is already dead by the time it has done this much damage.

Marriage and Civil Unions (1)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11000741)

Here's my thoughts on marriage and civil unions, which I think make more sense than having the government decide what kinds of relationships are better than others. Until a few years ago, I had two elderly relatives (both female) who lived together for the last 30 years of their lives or so. This wasn't a romantic relationship or anything like that, just two old women who preferred to live with each other than with other relatives. The benefits of marriage--power of attorney and automatic inheritance, etc.--would have been handy for the two of them. So here's my idea: We recognize that government only got into the marriage business to keep people from mixing skin colors, and we get government out of the business. All existing laws regarding marriage are reworded to be about civil unions or the less-baggaged "civil partnership". A civil union/partnership requires a stated/sworn commitment to the partnership and conveys all the current benefits of marriage. There are no requirements for the type of relationship embodied by the civil partnership, except that both members be consenting adults and not currently members of another civil partnership. Once that's done, anybody can get a civil partnership from various government officials, or you can get a civil partnership+marriage from any properly ordained religious figure. It's up to the religious institution to decide who is allowed to marry, and religious group down the street can pick completely different standards if they want to. Yes, this means a church could decide that gay people can marry. That's Freedom of Religion at its finest. Your church doesn't have to recognize their marriage if it offends you. That opens civil unions/partnerships up to anyone who wants one, whether it's a couple in a romantic relationship or two roommates with no family nearby. It separates the promise made before the state from the promise made before God, even if it's the same promise. It also respects the rights of every couple--homosexual or otherwise--while letting churches decide who does and doesn't get to marry. That's my two cents.

Re:Marriage and Civil Unions (1)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11000746)

I really ought to have clicked the "Plain Old Text" option. Sorry about the formatting.

Re:Marriage and Civil Unions (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001263)

We recognize that government only got into the marriage business to keep people from mixing skin colors

You're forgetting the part about ensuring support for the less-wealthy member of the relationship, any childen born from the relationship, and defining what is and isn't adultury.

The gov't got into the marriage business because the people wanted them to. This happened sometime shortly after the first chief was crowned, several thousand years ago. ;)

Re:Marriage and Civil Unions (1)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11005919)

I guess I should have specified that I was talking about government in this country, which wasn't really that concerned about marriage before interracial marriage became a possibility.

Ensuring support for non-wage-earning partners and children are good things for the government to do, and that'd be covered under my civil partnership plan. Determining what is and isn't adultery gets a little sticky, since what I consider adultery is lawful marriage to my Mormom and Muslim friends. I've yet to see a non-religious argument for why only two people get to be married, and until I do I see no reason for the government to be involved in that discussion. Under my civil partnership plan, you can have a partnership with only one other person but if a church wants to marry you to three more people, well, that's your right. You're just on your own for setting up power of attorney relationships with them, and so on.

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