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December 24, 2007

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I think that one must take into consideration the research literature along with one's own personal sense of ethics. For me, I have always been pro-choice with a tinge of concern until I learned more about what mattered to me. In other words, what was the tinge about? After further thought, I realized I was concerned about the aborted fetus feeling pain in the process of an abortion. I carried this concern for many years until I seen a research article a few years ago that stated that they were conclusive that a fetus cannot feel pain until well after 22 weeks of gestation. With most abortions occuring well before this, it alleviated some of my own personal ethical concerns about causing an innocent life pain. The other literature I have read, as a student of clinical psychology, has made so very clear the negative outcomes that can occur when a child is unwanted or in most cases "unplanned" or unsupported by both parents emotionally and finanically. And it's not like our government does a good job of providing that support when one or more parents do not. So I started pro-choice with concerns, and now I end pro-choice with an easy conscience and sense of ethics about the issue.

But I understand that it is a journey. We are all active and moving. We are all constantly in flux as human beings in our thoughts and development. So of course it's a journey, and who knows what research will show 150 years from now. I reserve the right to change my mind.

How brave of your to bring it up at all. You are no doubt a spiritual warrior of sorts, like myself.

Well, that's a different kind of journey, and one I appreciate: following the data and making decisions based on the facts that are laid out for you. I really find our media has become so opinion and spin-driven, and so committed to giving equal time to opposing views (even when one view is factually incorrect) that it's hard for people to make those kind of learning-based journeys at all!

Interesting thought processes. In adhering to your request that comments be thoughts regarding the "faith vs. face contradiction, as opposed to having a debate about choice or gay rights," I wonder at your statement that faith is "defined as a belief based on apprehension, not proof." Where exactly did you find that definition? Apprehensive about what?

I disagree with the "face" concept at it's root. Again, completely avoiding gay rights or abortion issues, at the core you suggest that we all get to know people who have made both the "easy" and the "difficult" decisions (forgive me for my poor vocabulary--please suggest better words than "easy" & "difficult"). You seem to imply that those who judge a particular decision as "wrong" simply lack an element of compassion. At some point an absolute truth must exist, a definite right and wrong.

An example would be infidelity in a marriage (barring abuse or extreme circumstances). Sure, if you heard both sides of the story, you might understand and have compassion towards the cheating spouse. That doesn't make the infidelity right. (No, my spouse has not cheated on me--that's simply a non-gay, non-abortion example). Of course, that may not be the best example because some people promote open marriages. But it makes the general point.

Thanks for commenting Angela.

First to be more clear: I meant "apprehension" as in:

"the faculty or act of apprehending, esp. intuitive understanding; perception on a direct and immediate level"

Not "apprehension" as in feeling dread or fear.

I should have used a better word myself.

I actually don't suggest the "face" concept is right or wrong, I'm only saying it's observable that people do change their minds when they put a human face on issues that were previously abstract to them. Knowledge leads to understanding which leads to...what? A replacement of faith with knowledge?

But as you say...don't we all still draw lines?

What ind of lines are we willing to re-draw based on putting a human face on it? What kind of lines only get pushed as far as "compassion" as you say, not acceptance?

I find it fascinating.

I just wanted anyone’s opinion on if I was in the wrong here, and what any of you guys would have done in this situation. So my wife is quite liberal and I’m more on the conservative side, and she’s about 3 months pregnant. She can’t work right now, so I’ve been forced to support her as of late. The thing is that about a week ago she started asking me if she could borrow $400, and being pretty secretive about the reason why. I soon found out that $400 was the average cost of a back alley abortion, which is ridiculous considering that she knows how vehemently pro-life I am. After refusing to give her the money and the countless hours of arguing that ensued, I ended up making a comment about how if she wanted to do something liberal with $400, she should take advantage of Obummer’s “Broadband Stimulus,” so that “instead of murdering our kid, he can have satellite internet at a smashing price!” (I linked it so you can actually see it’s about $400 in taxpayer money that our President chose to waste on this crap, aren’t I so funny hah). The messed up part is that she went and told her dad, who happens to be just as liberal as her, and who also happens to own the house that we’re renting. To make a long story short, my tenancy has been “suspended” from his house (I’m now staying at my buddy’s place until this thing blows over) and he gave her the money to get the abortion. I haven’t talked to her in almost a week, so it’s pretty safe to say that she has already gone through with it. So my question is, do you think I was being inappropriate for mocking my wife and father in law’s political ideologies, or do you think I’m being unfairly persecuted because of my relative conservatism, and the Obummer joke I made has little to nothing to do with this? I’m thinking the latter.

Samuel, to be honest, it sounds like you and your wife have some fundamental conflicts.

And it sounds like you made some assumptions, and some jokes to go along with those assumptions, that offended your wife.

And it sounds like this is about way more than whether you all agree on Obama's policies.

If it's true she intended to go have an abortion without talking to you about it, which you don't really know for sure, that would be wrong.

But, it sounds like what you guys really need is to talk honestly...and if you can't do that, that may settle the question.

Good luck, I don't envy you your position.

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