Many times, we talk about not supporting causes with whose values and we do not agree; e.g. I’ve written many times here about not supporting the Girls Scouts. But do we really know which companies support our values? That’s always been a tougher question to answer unless the company makes it clear what they support, like Chick-Fil-A or Hobby Lobby. Well, at the 2013 Values Voter Summit, I found a new organization whose goal is to help you find ratings of many different companies in many different industries. Check out 2nd Vote and see if the companies you support with your money share the same values as you do.
I was at Oktoberfest at my church earlier this month and a small, insignificant disagreement arose between my wife and I. Immediately one of our friends asked, “Is there anything you two don’t argue about?” Firstly, I’d like to point out that a disagreement between two people doesn’t automatically mean that they are arguing. Secondly, the word “argument” is not rightly understood because in no definition of the word is there any hint of malice or anger, just a debate, difference of opinion, or rationale.
But here’s something that most people don’t seem to understand: all marriages will come with arguments (as in disagreements, not the angry kind). That’s because we are all individuals with opinions, likes, dislikes, and whatnot. It’s when those disagreements become angry and hate-filled that we have a problem (and yes, every marriage will have experienced a slamming door at one point). The real question is how do you handle those situations and how do you move past them?
Do you hold on to grudges or do you forgive each other? Do you want to mold your spouse into your vision of him/her or do you accept him/her for who she is? Do you work at the marriage or do you just give up? Sometimes there is no hope because the other person doesn’t want to listen or change, but do you have no patience and move on too quickly?
I wanted to share this song with an interesting theme: love is war, but it’s worth fighting for.
So, I'm out with someone of the male variety.
It is a chilly night, so he gives me his coat to wear. It is a little big on me, and everyone who sees us knows I'm being taken care of by this guy I'm with who's now wearing only his shirt.
We walk around the V&A Waterfront trying to find a place to have dinner - he insists I pick the restaurant, seeing as it is my first time eating there.
Recently, there has been a lot being reported and commented upon on Facebook and Twitter regarding a rumor that Lutheran World Relief (LWR) support abortion funding. LCMS Life Ministries wanted to share information regarding this situation and to clarify that these reports are erroneous. Below is a statement from LCMS Life Ministries, please share this with anyone who may be concerned.
Statement by LCMS Life Ministries
(September 26, 2013)
Claims that Lutheran World Relief Supports Abortion Funding are Erroneous
Recent claims by some media outlets that Lutheran World Relief has lobbied for government support of abortion funding are incorrect and misrepresent the work of the independent relief agency which works in partnership with the LCMS. To better understand why the claims are wrong, please know these facts about U.S. international humanitarian policy regarding abortion.
Although current U.S. international policy on funding for international abortions can be confusing, it is important to note the difference between the “Mexico City Policy” and the 1973 “Helms Amendment” to the Foreign Assistance Act. The Mexico City Policy, a U. S. policy that required all non-governmental organizations (NGOs) receiving federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services as a method of family planning, was rescinded by President Barack Obama two days after he took office in 2009.
Fortunately, USAID—the federal agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign humanitarian aid—is still governed by the Foreign Assistance Act, which includes the 1973 Helms Amendment ruling. The Helms Amendment bans the use of federal funds for abortion as a method of family planning anywhere in the world.
Lutheran World Relief is a member of InterAction, an alliance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in international humanitarian work. InterAction recently crafted a letter signed by 142 organizations, including Lutheran World Relief, which calls Congress to support strong funding through USAID for international development and humanitarian assistance accounts in fiscal year 2014. This multi-signature letter is not a plea for increased abortion funding – something USAID is prohibited from doing – but simply a measure of advocacy directed to the current administration for continued humanitarian funding and support of USAID during a time of congressional budget decision-making.
Because USAID operates under the Helms Amendment, it is untrue to say that Lutheran World Relief has lobbied for abortion funding or supports abortion in any way.
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Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), handed out opinions on two very important cases: one regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the other regarding California’s Proposition 8 (Prop 8). Once again, SCOTUS got it wrong; however, that doesn’t mean same-sex marriage is now legal in all the nation.
Here’s what happened:
SCOTUS struck down Section 3 of DOMA, the section that stated that the federal government has the right define marriage for the purposes of federal benefits and laws. SCOTUS said that Section 3 was unconstitutional because it discriminated against people who were granted rights under states’ laws and the federal government does not have the right to overrule the states’ definitions of marriage. SCOTUS got it wrong on DOMA because, just as the state has the right to define how state benefits are applied, the federal government has the right to define how federal benefits are applied.
Prop 8 was a referendum to amend the California constitution to define marriage as only one man/one woman. It was passed, therefore, the California constitution would, by definition, forbid same-sex marriage. Elected officials of California were sued in District Court but the elected officials did not defend themselves. The District Court allowed the supporters of Prop 8 (citizens of California) to defend the case.
The judge in the District Court opined that Prop 8 was unconstitutional and ordered the elected officials not to enforce Prop 8. The elected officials did not appeal the ruling and order, but the District Court allowed the supporters of Prop 8 to file an appeal. The Ninth Circuit Court and the California Supreme Court agreed that the supporters were allowed to file the appeal.
What SCOTUS said was that the supporters of Prop 8 had no legal standing to file the appeal in a federal court. In fact, SCOTUS vacated the Ninth Circuit Court’s answer to this question the case was remanded to the District Court. SCOTUS got it wrong on Prop 8 because the people of California should have the right to defend a properly voted upon state constitution amendment if the elected officials will not uphold their constituency’s rights.
Here’s what SCOTUS didn’t do:
SCOTUS did not rule that Prop 8 was unconstitutional
SCOTUS did not strike down the entirety of DOMA
SCOTUS did not legalize same-sex marriage in all fifty states
Why is this important? Because traditional marriage, defined as one man/one woman, is the only type of relationship that can bring forth children, and in the best interest of the children, traditional marriage should be the only legal definition of marriage our nation has.
For more information on DOMA, see the Alliance Defending Freedom’s webpage on DOMA.
For more information on Prop 8, see the Alliance Defending Freedom’s webpage on Prop 8.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you need a prescription for the regular hormonal birth control pills, why doesn’t a higher dose of hormonal birth control pill–marketed as Plan B–need a prescription?
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted the restriction on girls younger than 17 requiring a prescription to purchase Plan B over the counter. You can read here my objections to Plan B.
Teresa A. Donovan, MPH, writing for Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, posted an interesting commentary about the possible health risks from using Plan B. However, before listing some of the risks from taking a high dose of hormonal birth control, Donovan notes:
Various studies demonstrate that after a single act of intercourse, without contraception, 7.2 to 8 percent of women may be expected to become pregnant. In contrast, pregnancy rates among women using “emergency contraception” (Yuzpe method, Plan B, Preven, etc.) are “reduced” to 1.9 percent.
In other words, out of 100 women who participate in unprotected sex, 92 will not get pregnant. And if all 100 women used emergency contraception, 2 will still get pregnant. So, the push for Plan B to be sold over the counter and to be sold to minors is a great marketing scheme because 94 percent of the women who have unprotected sex and use emergency contraception will derive no benefit from the drug. It makes you wonder why a federal judge would want the FDA to approve the sale of a drug to all girls, regardless of age, which does not benefit them (click here to read article).
On top of that, no one talks about the potential health risks from ingesting high doses of synthetic hormones that target the women’s brain. Donovan writes about how harmful large doses of synthetic hormonal steroids (of which many types of emergency contraception are made) to the person ingesting it. She concludes by writing:
Plan B and other forms of “emergency contraception” are designed to thwart the normal functioning of the female endocrine and reproductive systems, beginning with – and, indeed, targeting — the brain.
Folks, wake up and smell the coffee, please. Emergency contraception is not women’s healthcare, on the contrary, it is likely to contributes to more health problems in the women who use it. It’s bad enough that it is now available to 15-year-olds with no medical supervision what-so-ever, but some people want girls of any age to have access to these potentially harmful drugs with no medical supervision.
You can read the entire blog post by clicking here.
I’ve been reading Moral Philosophy: A Reader, 4th edition (edited by Louis P. Pojman and Peter Tramel) and found it to be very interesting, enough so that I’ve actually said to people, “I’m enjoying studying philosophy.” One essay caught my attention because of my interests in history and ethics. I have always been a World War II buff and the last part of this book (Applied Ethics) contains three essays regarding that period of time and the morality of bombing civilian population areas. In reading the selections on this topic, I found parallels in the abortion debate that should make us stop and think.
The essay that really caught my attention was an excerpt from Just and Unjust Wars by Michael Walzer. In a war, one of the conventions modern nations attempt to keep is that combatants fight with other combatants and that civilians should not be targeted. Yet, there are times, called supreme emergencies by Walzer, where it is justifiable to break those conventions. So what defines a supreme emergency? Walzer states:
It is defined by two criteria, which correspond to the two levels on which the concept of necessity works: the first has to do with the imminence of the danger and the second with its nature. The two criteria must both be applied. Neither one by itself is sufficient as an account of extremity or as a defense of the extraordinary measures extremity is thought to require. Close but not serious, serious but not close–neither one makes for a supreme emergency. (Pojman and Tramel, 450)
And that’s exactly what the pro-aborts do: create a situation in the minds of abortion-vulnerable women so that they feel they are in a position of close and serious danger. They tell women: you’ll never finish high school or college; your career is in danger; there’s no way you can handle another child in addition to the ones you already have; you were expecting to have one child not twins; you’re going to have too many challenges while raising a child with a mental or physical disability; you will be reminding of being raped every day you look at that child. By playing on the fear that the women may already have, rather than counseling them and supporting them, pro-aborts have created a sense of supreme emergency.
Although most Americans think about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when thinking about the bombing of civilians during WWII, the fact is the Nazis did it extensively to England and the Soviet Union; and in retaliation, the British did it extensively to Germany and German-held territories. The British justified it by saying “tactical use of bombers [against military targets] could not stop Hitler and that the destruction of cities could” and “the bombers alone…provide the means of victory.” (455)
And that’s exactly what the pro-aborts do: they tell abortion-vulnerable women that the only option they have is to get an abortion. If that wasn’t true, what would explain the fact that although the largest abortion provider in the United States, Planned Parenthood, claims to make adoption referrals, 92 percent of the pregnant women they serve abort their babies? Or that some affiliates have abysmal numbers adoption referrals, in one case, Planned Parenthood of Indiana had only 12 adoptions in 7 years.
The next step is to dehumanize those you are about to act upon. Walzer notes that the Allies did not bomb occupied French civilian areas because they were seen as allies, the Allies had “special commitments to the French,” and the goal was to free the French from Nazi occupation. But the German citizens, though not in control of Nazi policy or the execution of the war, were seen as part of the problem. They were faulted for contributing to the Nazi war effort and therefore were to be punished in addition to the Nazi leadership. Walzer explains that some might have thought that “it makes sense to say that there were more people in German than in French cities who were responsible (in some fashion) for the evil of Nazism, and we may well be reluctant to extend to them the full range of civilian rights.” (456)
And that’s exactly what the pro-aborts do: the original arguments supporting abortion included calling the pre-born baby a mass of cells, a clump of tissue, or a parasite. Now that scientific and medical progress has shown those claims to be false, the pro-aborts now say that the pre-born baby isn’t really a person, it’s just a potential person and that since it needs the continued assistance of another (the mother), then it’s the mother’s rights and desires that are more important than the pre-born baby’s. Can you also hear how these arguments are made to support ending the life of those with disabilities, the terminally ill, or the elderly? The quality of life they have or will have do not meet our definition of what it means to be a person so why shouldn’t we help them end their lives?
Finally, Walzer notes that the British bombings of German cities, after the initial bombings in late 1940, were no longer justified by July 1942 when Winston Churchill stated:
In the days when we were fighting alone, we answered the questions: “How are you going to win the war?” by saying: “We will shatter Germany by bombing.” Since then the enormous injuries inflicted on the German Army and manpower by the Russians, and the accession of the manpower and munitions of the United States, have rendered other possibilities open. (456)
Certainly by 1945 when the Germans Army was in collapse and the war was about to be ended, the continued bombing of civilians was no longer needed, therefore the bombing of Dresden, which killed approximately 100,000 people, was an unjustifiable act.
And that’s exactly what’s still happening today: with the availability of resources available from public and private organizations, women facing unwanted pregnancies are not alone. There are places to turn to, there are people willing to help. Yet 1.2 million abortions in the United States are still performed every year and over 40 million abortions per year occur worldwide. This all happens despite the fact that there is no close and serious threat to be addressed by ending these innocent lives.
Finally, speaking about the innocent civilians in German cities bombed by the Allies during WWII, Walzer writes:
We can recognize their horror only when we have acknowledged the personality and value of the men and women we destroy in committing them [acts we would not normally do]. It is the acknowledgement of rights that puts a stop to such calculations [to justify these acts] and forces us to realize that the destruction of the innocent, whatever its purposes, is a kind of blasphemy against our deepest moral commitments. (457, additional comments are mine)
It’s time to acknowledge the rights of the baby in the womb. It’s time that we speak up for them. And it’s time “to realize that the destruction of the innocent, whatever its purpose, is a kind of blasphemy against our deepest moral commitments.”
I just wanted to share with you to blog posts I recently read.
From Public Catholic:
Wives, talk to your husbands. Husbands, listen to your wives.
And while you’re at it, forgive one another for the subtle differences between the sexes that make this post necessary. There’s a reason God made us like this. When husbands and wives cooperate with one another this way, love between them grows. Our differences, which can drive us apart if we are stupid about them, can also meld us together for life.
Click here to read the entire post.
From Why I am Not a Feminist:
Both feminists and men’s rights activists are singularly concerned with their rights; they become very hostile with anyone who brings up the issue of obligations, particularly the obligations of adults towards children. Common sense, everyday observations, and the traditions of every society that has ever existed indicate that men and women are different, and that what children need from their mothers is different from what they need from their fathers. A patriarchal society in which men work and run things and women focus on children is geared towards meeting the needs of children, but egalitarians don’t want to live in a society that is dedicated to the well being [sic] of children. They believe that society should be dedicated to making life fair for egalitarians.
Click here to read the entire post.
I was just browsing through the political cartoons at WORLD magazine when I ran across this one from earlier in the week.
It immediately struck me that no one has been talking about what would happen when one of our women combatants gets captured. How would that be used to compromise the morale of the soldiers in the field? How would that be used to compromise the political will of our government? How would that be used to compromise the morale of a nation who speaks out in support or against a war?
What will be our response when we see American women raped, tortured, battered, and killed?
In the mad dash to be seen as “enlightened,” “open-minded,” or whatever other term you want to use, we are becoming a nation that does not want to protect and provide for the women of this nation, which is contrary to a man’s natural desire (see Thoughts on Chivalry). But that’s hardly surprising since we don’t want to protect them anymore in any other way.
We have basically told men that its okay to use women as tools (pornography), are easily replaceable (hooking up/friends with benefits), and are valueless if they become pregnant (40 years of legalized abortion leaving a legacy of over 55 million dead babies and countless women dealing with the aftereffects). Now we’re letting men off the hook again and throwing our women into the lion’s den of front line combatant.
To follow up on my recent post about women in combat, I read a post by Judithann Campbell on her blog, Why I Am Not A Feminist, and wanted to share it with you. She asks the simple question: do men like women?
Recent polls show that most American men don’t have a problem with women in combat. Which causes me to wonder; do most men even like women? And if they do, then why are they supporting a measure which requires women to become like men? If most women stated that they found men who wear high heels and makeup just as attractive, if not more attractive, then men who dress like men, I would wonder whether those women really liked men. And when I hear that most men have no problem with putting women or even forcing women into combat, it causes me to wonder what is going on their minds.
Campbell asks some good questions and I think we should all think about this since American women, women who are supposed to nurture and bring forth human life, will soon be serving in positions where they will be expected to and required to kill other humans.
You can Campbell’s entire post by clicking here.