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Full of Crap “Pro-lifer”

I have been having a discussion with John Barron. Here’s some of his post:

“I mean to ask in what facet of life other than the topic of abortion do we consider the distinction between person and human being to be of any material consequence. It seems that this person/human being distinction is important (even to pro-choicers) only when discussing abortion.

The point of my question is that if personhood is of such importance to securing rights, why isn’t this discussion had in other venues? “

I liked his post and commented that recognizing personhood as a society would help us with so much. I suggested that if personhood were more important in the gun discussion perhaps we could really get some where. But also that pro-lifers tend to be pro-life until this side of the vagina. He responded with a long rant about who the hell is supposed to be responsible for a child. This is some of the discussion we had.

John: “As far as the gun discussion, what does this have to do with abortion? Do you know any pro-lifers who support the wrongful use of guns to murder innocent people? Or are you suggesting that pro-lifers are only pro-life when it comes to pre-born babies? Maybe you mistake the issue. Pro-lifers are pro innocent life. Do you think that in order to be consistent, one must render themselves defenseless by disarming themselves? That’s kinda nonsense, don’t you think?”

Me: “Most pro-lifers don’t think about the system that many of unwanted kids would get put into. They don’t want to fund it and/or they don’t adopt. They don’t want to pay for poor family’s healthcare or anything else that comes in the typical “unwanted” pregnancy demographic. And seeing the personhood in people as a nation would help grow a conscious in the people who commit these atrocious gun crimes. That’s the real issue with gun control, it’s really about the mental health issues and lack of humanization that these shooters have.”

John: “We believe, as should everyone, that people should stand up and take care of themselves. I don’t believe society bears the responsibility of caring for children, the child’s parents do. If children are unwanted, that is the parent’s thing to deal with? By and large, pro-lifers and Christians as groups adopt at higher rates than other demographics. Even if they didn’t, they don’t need to adopt to be able to speak out against killing children just like I don’t need to be willing to take in battered women to speak out against domestic violence.”

Me: “That’s like saying you can stand and preach against child abuse while a child starves in front of you, but it’s not your responsibility to help them; it’s the parents.”

John: “There is a difference between helping and assuming responsibility. That is the distinction you and others miss. No one opposes helping, it’s assuming responsibility that we object to. More importantly, you have a couple times now dismissed the idea that the child’s parents are ultimately responsible for the care of their child. Why is that? Do you believe the parent bears that responsibility? Because you keep putting it back on people like me to step up and provide.”

Me: “I’m not going to worry about pandering with politics and asking who’s responsibility is it to defend this life while a child is dying. That’s why. I’m going to save the child then worry about all the superficial bullshit. That’s what fundamentalism in politics on both sides does. Disregards the real issue. It doesn’t matter whose responsibility it is to take care of it. You see a child dying, you have the power to stop it, so you stop it. What’s your problem with that?”

John: “The problem is that it’s not just helping out, you suggest that full assumption by a stranger is better than parental responsibility. You refuse to acknowledge that parents bear the responsibility for raising their children and instead deride strangers for not stepping up to be parents. Where is your disdain for neglectful parents?”

Me: “What good does whining about their shameful acts do for the children? I can’t do anything about that. I can’t make them be good parents unless they have the desire. Believe me, it’s my job. I can only focus on what I can do. Whining and condemning is really just delaying action. By politicking and complaining about not wanting to take responsibility we become complicit in the children’s suffering.”

John: “Wait just a second. You can’t make them be good parents, so their children then become my responsibility, and if I don’t assume that responsibility, its my bad? I’m calling BS on that. How about instead of trying to shame me into taking care of their children, you shame them into taking care of their own. Tell you what, I’ll quit my job and stop feeding my kids. I’ll email you my address so you can start sending money to help the poor helpless children. Unless of course you’re a heartless monster who wont help kids.”

Me: “You have to get into reality. Kids who would have been aborted are about 30% from Christian and or Catholic households. The kids that we’re trying to prevent from getting abortions have parents who are arguing that abortions should be illegal. They’re begging the law to hold their own kids accountable, but won’t do it themselves. They push off their own responsibility and then whine like you. But like you they don’t give a shit about the kids that are actually paying the price. And yes, if it was in my power and you didn’t feed your kids; I would.
Don’t you get it, it’s not about you. It’s about the kids.”

Meanwhile, he’s arguing with someone else about abortion. They are talking about rape cases. The other individual is saying that a woman should have the right to choose whether or not she can live with the a lifetime reminder of her violation. John takes my side, though he doesn’t think so and says:

In a civilized society, how should we treat those whose father committed a crime, or those who remind us of a traumatic event?”

Wait, wait, wait. I thought this was my argument? Sorry John, I’m calling bullshit on your logic. This is the problem that I have with the fundamentalist pro-lifer. There is no consistency. Either the child is your priority or not. Either their life is your concern or not.  You can’t say that preventing murder and/or abuse of the unborn innocents is something that is my responsibility to do and then say that preventing murder and/or abuse of the born innocents isn’t my responsibility. So which way is it John? Are you willing to assume responsibility for the life of the child within and without the womb or not at all. Cause you should either leave all the responsibility on the parents and let them decide whether or not the child dies or stand up against it before and after birth.

And you know what’s funny? I’m probably more pro-life than he is, because he’s politically speaking pro-life, where as mine is more complex and more all-encompassing.

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19 thoughts on “Full of Crap “Pro-lifer”

  1. Sooooo you found out pro-lifers are full of it? I’m curious as to why you sound surprised? Just to be fair, the pro-choicer’s aren’t any different brother. Was it fun? Cause it looks like it was fun.:)

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    • Oh it’s so true. I’m a registered independent because I think that both side of pretty much every debate is full of it, but when I say that they attack me as holier than thou. We already had so much to talk about without adding that. Lol.

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  2. Yes. Was it fun? You are not going to convert him. Instead, you might help him firm up his silly-clever answers to arguments, as he now has an argument for “Pro-life cannot be pro-guns”.

    He is not taking responsibility for the foetus. He will not pay for care for the mother, or medical help. He wants to create a framework of laws to restrict her, so that she can be responsible for herself or die in the attempt.

    He cannot enter imaginatively into the world of the mother, imagine what it is like to be violated, to be that hurt, to lose confidence that badly. Oh, she should just shrug it off and get on with life, including bringing up an unplanned child without a father. He is insane. Sane people have a modicum of empathy.

    It might be more creative to debate with someone whose views are closer to your own. That might increase understanding.

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    • Yes, sadly I had no idea what I was getting myself in for. I didn’t even mean to start anything with him. Lol. Honestly! I thought the personhood idea was really good. And believe it or not, I’m not anti-guns. I’m anti-murder. And that takes many many forms including in war and in emotions.

      That’s why I made a post. To see what my community would say about it.

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  3. You have obviously misunderstood what I mean when I said “in a civilized society how should we treat…”. Prochoicers believe that those who remind us of a traumatic event (a child conceived in rape) is permitted to be ripped to shreds in the womb through abortion. It was a rhetorical question. I was not advocating that society become more responsible for unwanted children than their parents.

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    • If you’ve ever seen the Gandhi movie, you’ll remember the pass burning scene. When the police man is beating Gandhi and he refuses to stop burning the passes even though he’s getting wailed on. At one point the police officer begins to sympathize with him. He does that because he fully recognizes Gandhi’s humanity: his personhood. That’s why non-violence works. It tears down the barriers between an enemy and the other’s bare humanity. If we could expose and emphasize people’s bare humanity, I think these things could be more resolved. Dehumanizing is extremely prevalent in our society. We distance ourselves from the “other’s” humanity as a culture. If we could stop doing that and always view another person as a human, not necessarily a title or classification, or number. We would govern and act VERY differently.

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  4. OK. Yeah I get that but now I don’t think there’s anyway to do it. It’s a very spiritual state of being. I don’t mean you have to be Christian obviously but you would have to be something. Gandhi almost killed himself like a hundred different times trying to teach this to the Indian people and he never completely succeeded. AND I”M NOT GANDHI! I can barely stand these little bastards as it is!

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    • Haha. It’s not about letting yourself get beat up really. It’s more about showing your full humanity. Think of the way our culture dehumanizes: transfer tubes, collateral damage, terrorists, dead peasants, unemployed etc. We separate the idea of personhood from people often to make a simple point. It’s a whole mentality. The power of those word choices is great. Why would Bush’s camp make such a big deal of hiding that coffins were coming back from war by inventing a new term for them if they weren’t.

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  5. Is John Barron a Christian? If so, this is the most ridiculous conversation on a very important topic. If not, then it makes more sense. As a Christian, the responsibility question is resolved without question in James 1:27. We are responsible for orphans and widows, end of discussion.

    As a Christian, or just a spiritual person, the real thrust of the issue surrounds when person-hood is established. The number of embryos that are rejected by the endometrial wall before the first zygote stage causes real questions for spiritual people about the question of person-hood at conception.

    Here, as in the gun control discussion, humility and the love of life become the guiding factors in decision making. Humility calls us to push for legislation that respects the fact that we don’t have all the answers while protecting life and property of all parties involved. Hyperbolicly, we don’t allow people to have atomic bombs and we control frivolous abortions while not removing people’s ability to make decisions about the defense of their bodies in either arena.

    Taking that stance means that we must move the hearts and minds of people to use their freedoms with guns and medicine in the most loving and responsible way. Your thoughts on changing semantics to change culture is a good idea. Your question is, “How do we help people love others?”

    Semantics are a start, but we might take it a step further and try and change their meta-narrative through story. We don’t love because we don’t understand the depths to which we are loved. I think that we can only help people feel that one person at a time, but the compound effect is strong, and maybe if we take responsibility for those placed in our lives to love them to the point that they can’t help but love others, this conversation becomes irrelevant.

    I am not real good at this kind of love, but as someone with terminal cancer, I can tell you that at the end of life how you lived out this one call means everything.

    -Andrew
    http://www.andrewbheard.com

    PS I really like all the things you process. I hope more people are drawn to your discussions. I will continue to plug for you.

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    • I was asking myself the same question. I think it is pretty clear as Christians but really it isn’t. The politics have been impossibly combined resulting in a religious Right that has given me this argument time and time again. I have no ability to understand it whatsoever.

      I think you’re right about showing people one at a time. In the comments with haydenlinder I flesh out my feelings on how it would help the gun discussion more. I should have done it in the post, I suppose. The only way to help with the guns is to stop dehumanizing as a culture and begin to recognize the full humanity of every person we come in contact with.

      I always look forward to hearing from you!

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    • I just asked. He said that of course he’s Christian. It’s good because I was discussing as though that was assumed judging from other blogs I have read from him. He is the type of Christian I always feel I need to call out. Like my in-laws. Lol. I have a special fondness for their (I feel) misguided ideas.

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  6. Pingback: Worth Reading By Sacredstruggler – you can read my comments on the bottom |

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