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 Post subject: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:23 pm 
θεά
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http://manhattandeclaration.org/

Read it.

My objections:

1. This document calls for banning abortion. Okay, fine, I'm moderately pro-life. But I'm puzzled at why a document which calls for a ban on abortion is signed by 143 men and only 10 women. 6.5% women signing onto a document that bans abortion? Since women are the ones who are primarily effected by this, shouldn't they be the ones stepping up to protect life?

2. If embryonic stem cell research is being forbidden, what about abortifacient birth control? IUDs, hormonal methods? Randy Alcorn signed off on this document, so I assume a ban on IUDs and hormonal birth control is at least in mind. I'm not okay with that.

3. I do not call upon the government to protect my marriage. The government can protect my marriage by staying the hell out of it and granting religious freedom to everyone---including homosexual people whose religions require them to get married in order to live morally.

4. Pleading for religious freedom and protection for Christians while denying religious freedom and protection for gays is contradictory.

My thoughts on this are half-baked. My university president and one of my professors signed off on this document. I will blog more fully about it later.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:40 pm 
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Human dignity is dependent on heterosexual marriage? Come again?

I'm all for freedom of conscience and religious liberty, but I'm wary of how those ideas have become increasingly warped in large segments of the religious right to refer to the right of Christians to use the government to impose their religious ideas on society. So things like not having public school teachers lead public school students in prayer is attacking their religious liberty. I'm not for that.


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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:54 am 
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In case anybody is too lazy to click on the link: this is a document that was just released on Friday composed by Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic leaders. The document calls for:

(1) A ban on abortion and embryonic stem cell research.
(2) A ban on gay marriage.
(3) Protection for the religious liberty of organizations and professionals who do not want to service individuals against their religious conscience. For example, orphanages run by religious groups that do not wish to place children with homosexual couples.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:01 am 
God
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Bridget-

Just to clear up some misinformation you may have bought into from listening to pro-life partisans...

There is no evidence that an IUDs or birth control pill has ever caused an abortion or blocked implantation of a fertilized egg. Their principal method of action is first to block ovulation and second to block fertilization. Since both of these would have to fail, and then somehow it would have to succeed at blocking implantation or causing rejection once already implanted, this is not a likely scenario. Even the morning-after pill, or plan B, works this way. They cannot harm a pregnancy once established.

This is not to be confused with RU486 which is principally used as an abortifacient during the first two months of pregnancy.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:06 am 
God
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Quote:
We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


Liars. They are partisans of a conservative political cause. Shrouding this in religious lingo is disingenuous and detrimental to their religion.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:39 am 
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The Dude wrote:
There is no evidence that an IUDs or birth control pill has ever caused an abortion or blocked implantation of a fertilized egg. Their principal method of action is first to block ovulation and second to block fertilization. Since both of these would have to fail, and then somehow it would have to succeed at blocking implantation or causing rejection once already implanted, this is not a likely scenario. Even the morning-after pill, or plan B, works this way. They cannot harm a pregnancy once established.

I'm aware that the primary method of preventing pregnancy for these methods is either to block ovulation or prevent fertilization. However, the American Pregnancy Association (hardly a pro-life activist group) states on their Web site concerning IUDs:

Quote:
Both the progesterone IUD and copper IUD prevent pregnancy in one of two ways:

* The released progesterone or copper creates changes in the cervical mucus and inside the uterus that kills sperm or makes them immobile.
* Changes the lining of the uterus, preventing implantation should fertilization occur.

And concerning hormonal contraceptives (pills in this instance):

Quote:
Oral contraceptives are designed to prevent pregnancy in one of three ways:

* Prevent ovulation each month.
* The cervix produces less and thicker mucus so that sperm cannot easily enter the uterus.
* The lining of the uterus becomes thinner, making it more difficult for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus should ovulation occur and fertilization take place.

So the potential to cause the termination of a fertilized egg (however unlikely) is there. I understand why people who believe life begins at conception are concerned about that; I just disagree with them.

And since the pro-life activists who are making these arguments are confirmed signatories on this document (Randy Alcorn signed it and he is the author of Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?), I'm concerned about how they're interpreting their "call to protect life." They shouldn't be trying to sneak anti-birth-control sentiments in with a call to ban abortion.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:05 am 
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"Protection for the religious liberty of organizations and professionals who do not want to service individuals against their religious conscience."

Like the medical first responders who say 'I would never give mouth to mouth to a homo'?

How about a Church owned hospital or 'Christian Doctor' or 'Muslim Doctor' who says "I would never treat an unbeliever" or homosexual?

Maybe even LDS hardliners who believe blacks are The Seed of Cain and would never rent to one?

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:27 am 
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Bridget Jack Meyers wrote:
1. This document calls for banning abortion. Okay, fine, I'm moderately pro-life. But I'm puzzled at why a document which calls for a ban on abortion is signed by 143 men and only 10 women. 6.5% women signing onto a document that bans abortion? Since women are the ones who are primarily effected by this, shouldn't they be the ones stepping up to protect life?

I don't find that the least bit surprising. It seems to me that having a choice on this matter would be far more important to women than to men. Clearly, they are the ones stepping up to protect choice.

It just so bizarre to me that pro-choice is somehow equated with pro-abortion. I mean, one of the choices is to actually have the baby. I think choosing life is far nobler than having a life forced upon you.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:57 pm 
Bridget:

How do your more extreme colleagues understand twins & chimeras?

If 'human life' starts at fertilisation - presumably a zygote or a blastocyst is considered to have a soul. But even early implanted embryos are not clearly differentiated.

A Chimera can be formed from two blastocysts at least up to at least 7 days after fertilization, and probably as late as 13 days.

Twins can form from one embryo up to 15 days (although after 13 days they will probably be conjoined.

So, the implication of extreme 'right-to-life' theory is that souls/human beings can merge & separate as well? If human life begins at fertilization then any human cell with a functioning set of chromosomes is a separate human life.

The extreme right-to-life position is just not compatible with observed human development. Adherents do more damage to their position than not - because their position is nonsense, the extreme pro-choice position makes more ground.


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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Danna wrote:
A Chimera can be formed from two blastocysts at least up to at least 7 days after fertilization, and probably as late as 13 days.

Twins can form from one embryo up to 15 days (although after 13 days they will probably be conjoined.

You know, I just asked this exact same question of one of my extreme right-to-life colleagues on another forum. And her response was to completely ignore the question and shriek, "You're willing to risk killing another person based on your own fallible human 'sense'?!"

So I guess that's your answer.

The problem of twins and chimeras was one of the things that led me to abandon the conception position (my husband is an identical twin). The other major factor was the fact that 30%-70% of blastocysts fail to implant all by their lonesome. If human ensoulment takes place at conception, then 30%-70% of the human race is passing into the afterlife without ever making it past the implantation phase, all because God designed our bodies that way.

That was a lot more monstrous and problematic to me than the prospect that I might be killing my own children with birth control pills.

I prefer the life begins at blood interpretation. It has much more synergy with Christian mystery and much better logical, theological, and biblical support than the conception position. It allows for the possibility that embryonic stem cell research is an option (the jury is still out for me on that one), and IUDs and hormonal birth control are all acceptable under it.

I am what I consider to be moderately pro-life though. I don't believe there's much point in making abortion illegal if we don't treat the reasons why women are seeking them in the first place.

Danna wrote:
The extreme right-to-life position is just not compatible with observed human development. Adherents do more damage to their position than not - because their position is nonsense, the extreme pro-choice position makes more ground.

I try telling them that. I never get very far past the screaming about murder.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:05 pm 
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The Dude wrote:
Quote:
We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


Liars. They are partisans of a conservative political cause. Shrouding this in religious lingo is disingenuous and detrimental to their religion.


BS, Dude.

A conservative political cause? I have my own problems with the Manhattan Declaration (and they are not yours, I'm sure), but this is a completely BS assessment.

It's okay to disagree with the science, but your glib politicization of the underlying issues is just completely wrongheaded.

So, in response, I would say that you're the liar here.

It's an incredibly easy rhetorical victory. Not particularly relevant or important, of course.

cks

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:45 pm 
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Bridget Jack Meyers wrote:

I prefer the life begins at blood interpretation.


Me too. Makes much more sense.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:21 am 
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I prophesy the next step:

Quote:
Within Sharia law, there are a group of "Haram" offenses which carry severe punishments. These include pre-marital sexual intercourse, sex by divorced persons, post-marital sex, adultery, false accusation of unlawful intercourse, drinking alcohol, theft, and highway robbery. Haram sexual offenses can carry a sentence of stoning to death or severe flogging.

There is one thing I can't augur, the future name of christian shariah.

Stoning to death makes many prison unnecessary.
And it is cheap with recycling the stones.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:51 am 
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cksalmon wrote:
The Dude wrote:
Liars. They are partisans of a conservative political cause. Shrouding this in religious lingo is disingenuous and detrimental to their religion.


BS, Dude.

A conservative political cause? I have my own problems with the Manhattan Declaration (and they are not yours, I'm sure), but this is a completely BS assessment.

It's okay to disagree with the science, but your glib politicization of the underlying issues is just completely wrongheaded.


Who said anything about science?

These people claim their moral position comes from being followers of Jesus and not from their politics. But:

1) there are many followers of Jesus who do not agree with this moral position towards reproductive freedom, stem cell research, and gay rights. Therefore the position does not come from simply being a follower of Jesus, as they claim. There is another fundamental component which they deny.

2) they wish to express their moral position through political action.

Therefore, I think it is plain that their moral position has close ties to conservative politics and is not merely christian belief. They lie by denying their partisanship.

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Last edited by The Dude on Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:00 am 
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Bridget Jack Meyers wrote:
I prefer the life begins at blood interpretation. It has much more synergy with Christian mystery and much better logical, theological, and biblical support than the conception position. It allows for the possibility that embryonic stem cell research is an option (the jury is still out for me on that one), and IUDs and hormonal birth control are all acceptable under it.

I am what I consider to be moderately pro-life though. I don't believe there's much point in making abortion illegal if we don't treat the reasons why women are seeking them in the first place.


I'm also moderately pro-life but I prefer something like "it's human when it stops looking like every other vertebrate embryo" which is somewhere towards the end of the first trimester. This has synergy with my scientific sensibilities. If it has visible human qualities then I ought to treat it with more respect than a mere clump of cells or another kind of embryo.

Now, the thing about embryonic stem cells... it's almost a moot point. We are well on the road to inducing "stem cell" qualities in any cell you like, and therapies are most likely to come from this. True embryonic stem cells are now viewed mostly as a useful reference for characterizing the new varieties of induced stem cells (or iPS cells, for induced pluripotent stem cell).

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:03 am 
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harmony wrote:
Bridget Jack Meyers wrote:

I prefer the life begins at blood interpretation.


Me too. Makes much more sense.


what kind of sense?

The hamburger I buy at the grocery store has blood in it.

Yeah, I'm being dense, but it shows that I wonder why blood is the important human quality when it's so common.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:05 am 
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The Dude wrote:

The hamburger I buy at the grocery store has blood in it.


You buy human hamburger? Shame on you, Dude!

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:08 am 
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harmony wrote:
The Dude wrote:

The hamburger I buy at the grocery store has blood in it.


You buy human hamburger? Shame on you, Dude!


So its not the blood, but the human blood that is important. Or maybe we can forget the blood and focus on the human. Wait, now we're begging the question of when it becomes human.

See the problem?

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:35 am 
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The Dude wrote:
So its not the blood, but the human blood that is important. Or maybe we can forget the blood and focus on the human. Wait, now we're begging the question of when it becomes human.

See the problem?


Of course it's the human blood that's important. Why would I care about dog blood?

I'm not a fan of the "conception" argument. I don't defend a lump of cells. But if it has blood (human blood) and looks like a person, then I can support that argument.

Your mileage may vary.

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:38 am 
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To be honest, I don't give equal weight to male opinion when it comes to the issue of abortion. Men can't get pregnant. When they can, then their opinions will equal those of women, at least in my view.

I do consider myself pro-life, but have no problem with the pill or IUD's or the morning after pill. I also support the use of RU486 in some instances.

Last week on a talk radio show I heard about a group of folks who are rescuing frozen embryos. I just don't understand that. There are living children who are in dire need of families.

KA

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 Post subject: Re: The Manhattan Declaration
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:48 am 
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KimberlyAnn wrote:


Last week on a talk radio show I heard about a group of folks who are rescuing frozen embryos. I just don't understand that. There are living children who are in dire need of families.

KA



And here you touch on something similar to what I brought up in chat the other night. These people who draw up such a "declaration" are missing the boat entirely,taking the easy way out and attempting to slap a bandaid on a societal gaping wound.

Abortion isn't the problem.

It is a *symptom* of a larger societal problem wherein people abuse themselves, abuse their children, engage in less than stable relationships that produce the ability or desire to raise a child.

Abortion is NOT the problem and opposing it is a convenient lazy minded political choice.

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