Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BEER SUMMIT: Is Government Too Big? Part 2.

Former Guam U.S. Congressman, and current President of the University of Guam, Dr. Robert Underwood, debates the question with Tim Rohr on a PBS special program.

BEER SUMMIT: Is Government Too Big? Part 1.

Former Guam U.S. Congressman and current President of the University of Guam, Dr. Robert Underwood, debates the question with Tim Rohr.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Gendercide. Women should be appalled

Parental preference for producing sons rather than daughters in a number of societies has led to the aborting of more than 160 million female babies since the late 1970s, an author contends.

Writing about the book “Unnatural Selection” by Mara Hvistendahl, Jonathan V. Last, a senior editor at the Weekly Standard, notes that the natural ratio of 105 boys for every 100 girls is “biologically ironclad.”

But in India today there are 112 boys born for every girl. In China, there are 121 boys for every girl, and in many towns the male figure is over 150. In Armenia, the figure is 120.
What is causing the skewed ratio is abortion.

“If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl,” Last writes in an article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

"By Ms. Hvistendahl’s counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world.”

What made the skewed ratio possible is the availability of amniocentesis in the mid-1970s, and later ultrasound, to determine the gender of a child before birth.

Last cites an ad put out by an Indian clinic that states, “Better 500 rupees now than 5,000 later,” referring to the price of a sex-determination test versus the cost of a dowry for a daughter.

Skewed sex ratios have had some unpleasant and often violent repercussions through history, Hvistendahl points out, citing the dearth of women along the frontier in the “wild” American West. In 1870, the sex ratio west of the Mississippi was 120 to 100, and in California it was 166 to 100.

“Today in India,” Last observes, “the best predictor of violence and crime for any given area is not income but sex ratio.”

Last also cites the danger that with prenatal sex determination reducing the number of females, “a small but still significant group of the world’s women will end up being stolen or sold from their homes and forced into prostitution or marriage.”

And he goes on to say that “if ‘choice’ is the moral imperative guiding abortion, then there is no way to take a stand against ‘gendercide.’ Choice is choice.”

Reposted from Newsmax.com

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Adoption Argument for Same-Sex Marriage

Following is a letter to a friend who commonly resorts to the needs of parentless children as a justification for same-sex marriage. It's a common, emotional, and seemingly rational appeal. 

Dear XXXXX:

Hope you'll take a minute to consider a few thoughts regarding same-sex marriage. I heard you talking about gay marriage and adoption. As a talk show host, I realize that often times you may be saying things simply to provoke conversation, which of course is your job, so I don't necessarily think that everything you say is what you personally believe. But in case you don't already know....

There is no shortage of heterosexual married couples in the United States, including Guam, who are waiting to adopt a child. Just google the words "waiting to adopt". There are even "waiting to adopt"' support groups. In Guam, since we have no adoption agency or legal entity that keeps track of such things, we have to go to the people who facilitate adoptions to get any kind of data. Kamalin Karidat is the most active organization in local adoptions. I am told that there are at least 20 couples at any one time waiting to adopt and they sometimes have to wait years.

The wait and the complexity is longer in Guam because there is no agency and families are less likely to put a child up for adoption and more likely to farm the kid out to a relative. In addition, the average cost of adopting a child in the U.S. is $33,793 with the attorney getting $31,465 of that. (www.adoptivefamilies.com) The wait and the cost is why many couples go outside the U.S. to adopt children.

I think its wonderful that good men and women who happen to be gay want to take care of a child, however, the question must be what's best for the child. If a heterosexual married couple is available to adopt (and the stats show that they are), should a homosexual couple be treated equally as good a choice or even given priority? What's best for the child? Do children really need a mother and a father or will any arrangement suffice? Irresponsible parenting is certainly a blight but does irresponsible parenting negate or change the true needs of the child? Is it okay for little Johnny to grow up seeing daddy and daddy in bed together?

As regards gay marriage in general I have one question that gay marriage advocates can never seem to answer: 

"If you would not limit marriage to one man and one woman, what would you limit it to and why?"

This isn't just the "slippery slope" argument. We throw people in jail for marrying more than one person at a time. Why? Polygamy has a far greater historical, cultural, and even biblical pedigree than does gay marriage (which has none) or even permanent heterosexual monogamy for that matter. If marriage can simply be reduced to a matter of accessing benefits, then why not let brother and sister marry, father and daughter, and so on? If I work for the government and my wife gets my pension when I die and I would rather that my daughter get the pension, then why not divorce my wife and marry my daughter?

It's too easy to make light of these propositions and call them extreme, but essentially this is the gay marriage proposition. In fact, this is why Bill 212-30 never went anywhere because it proposed such a "reciprocal beneficiary" arrangement analogous to marriage. The boys over at the retirement fund weighed in quickly on that one.

But fiscal minutia aside, perhaps, next time the subject comes up, you can float the question: "If you would not limit marriage to one man and one woman, what would you limit it to and why?" And it wouldn't just be about polygamy, it would be about allowing all sorts of marital arrangements that the law currently forbids, most of which are on the basis of age, consanguinity, and affinity, but in some states, on blood types and sexually transmitted diseases. One state, Alabama, still has a law requiring physical consummation, meaning that impotency would be a legal impediment to marriage. 

In short, the gay marriage debate needs to be engaged on the level of facts and not just feelings or personal religious beliefs - where it so often is. While I am informed by my religious beliefs I never attempt to make an argument against gay marriage from them, simply because it is not necessary. 

I don't really want to call in every time I hear this topic come up. I've said my piece many times. In fact, I'm probably the local poster boy for the opposition - albeit by my own choosing. However, there has never been a forum where the issue can be intellectually engaged in a sustained way. Perhaps you've tried and I missed it. 

Thanks for listening.

MARRIAGE "EQUALTIY" CREATES NEW INEQUALITIES


New York has become the sixth state to legalize “gay marriage”. Catholic lawmakers provided the key votes and a Catholic governor signed the bill into law. Catholic senator, Mark Grisanti, said that though he was raised to believe that marriage was between a man and a woman he could not “legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage.” 

Grisanti continued: "If I take the Catholic out of me...then absolutely they should have these rights...” Grisanti’s comments invite further comment on: 1) the issue of rights, 2) the legislative imposition of personal beliefs, 3) the legal argument against same-sex marriage.

Rights
New York’s gay marriage bill actually had nothing to do with rights. As Katherine Franke, a partner in a same-sex domestic partnership, wrote in the New York Times the day before the vote, same-sex couples, under New York’s domestic partnership law, already have all the rights of married people. Ms. Franke even bemoaned a possible loss of freedom and flexibility that she now enjoys in a domestic partnership that she would not have within the tighter legal strictures of marriage. 

Legislative imposition of personal beliefs
Grisanti’s metaphysical contortion about taking “the Catholic out of me” is another transliteration of the “I’m personally opposed, but...” that lawmakers will resort to when shrinking from a moral stand. Though raised to believe that marriage was between a man and a woman, Grisanti said he could not legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage. We must then wonder what else Grisanti was raised to believe that he should not be making laws about: lying, cheating, stealing, murder?

All laws have a moral base.  Politicians decide what’s right and wrong for the rest of us all the time whether its setting a speed limit or outlawing murder. As of June 23, Guam senators have introduced 243 bills! That means that Guam senators are deciding what is best for the rest of us 1.4 times every day including holidays and weekends! It’s only when it comes to same-sex legislation and abortion that certain lawmakers suddenly wax philosophical. Hmmm.

Legal argument
As for the lack of a legal argument against same-sex marriage, this was a senate chamber, not a court room. Senators engage the process which makes things legal or illegal. As a senator, Grisanti did not need a legal argument, he was in a position to make one. But since he didn’t, I will, or at least I will borrow one from Don Browning, Professor Emeritus at University of Chicago Divinity School.

Browning, along with other legal theorists, wonder if giving marriage benefits to same-sex couples “does injustice to other human arrangements where people care for one another...” Such arrangements could include a man or woman caring for an ailing sibling, an adult child caring for an aging parent, or two elderly persons of the same sex in a non-sexual relationship pooling resources. 

Why should they, simply because they are NOT in a sexual relationship, be denied the same rights that New York has now extended to same-sex couples because they ARE in a sexual relationship? In short, if marriage is simply a matter of mutual caring divorced from procreation, then it is an INJUSTICE, as Browning says, “to extend marriage privileges to a particular group of sexual friendships while excluding many other interdependent care givers.” 

But beyond the legal argument there is the official teaching of the Catholic Church which these Catholic politicians chose to ignore at their own peril. Every Catholic needs to know exactly what our Church teaches on this matter and where it can be found. It is as follows:


“When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, June 3, 2003, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A comment for the Beer Summit on Abortion

The following is a comment that was too long to leave on You Tube at the following link:

Essentially, the abortion issue concerns the question: under what circumstances is it okay for one human being to kill another. The fact that the unborn child (that's the English definition of fetus - which is a Latin word) is a human being is not a question. The "thing" growing inside the mother is in fact a "being" or it wouldn't be growing, and since a human mother is not capable of gestating an ear of corn or baby elephant, the "thing" can be none other than a "human being". Both science and the law (Unborn Victims of Violence Act) have recognized this fact.  That “pro-choicers” elect to use euphemisms such as “termination of pregnancy” and “reproductive health” is evidence that they are quite aware of what is going on here: one human being is electing to kill another. 


Of course it’s all quite legal. An unborn child is denied legal personhood under Roe the same as slaves were denied legal personhood by the same Court 150 years earlier under Scott (Dred Scott decision). The Scott decision did not deny that Black people were human beings, it just denied them (if they were “owned”) legal personhood. Thus it was quite okay for a slave owner to saw off the legs of a runaway slave the same as it is quite okay for the abortionist to saw off the legs and arms or an unborn child in a D&E abortion. 
Of course today we abhor slavery and its cruelties. But public opinion did not turn against slavery until the majority of Americans began to see what slavery looked like. Abolitionist artists captured the inhumane treatment of slaves in drawings and over many years finally forced Americans to see what slavery actually looked like. Pro-choicers criticize pro-lifers for doing the same but advocates for abortion should be able to embrace the photos of a dismembered and decapitated fully developed child if they truly believe and support a woman’s right to choose, otherwise, they are tacitly admitting that there is something wrong, terribly wrong, with such a position. 
Again, the bottom line is the question: under what circumstances is it okay for one human being to kill another? Tina stalwartly approves the choice of one human being to kill another so long as the human to be killed is within the mother’s body. I’d be curious to know if she would also support partial birth abortion where only the head remains inside the mother’s birth canal while the rest of the body has been delivered. The abortionist then stabs the child in the back of the head, inserts a vacuum tube, sucks the child’s brains out, and delivers the child whole. 

I would also wonder if she would support the killing of a child that survives a failed abortion. Would she support Dr. Gosnell’s right to kill living children who survived failed abortions by cutting their spines with a scissors (a current case in Philadelphia - he is being charged with murder). After all, the mother wanted the child dead. It wasn’t her fault that the abortionist botched the job. Why shouldn’t he finish the job....even if the child lies outside the womb squirming and gasping (described by Sycloria Williams in a born alive case in Florida as “hissing sounds only”).
In regard to the pro-life side in this discussion, Ramona is incorrect in her belief that contraception has nothing to do with abortion, and this is not a religious argument. Aside from the fact that the pill in general and the IUD specifically are abortifacient, there is the legal connection. Roe was preceded by Griswold v Connecticut. It was in Griswold that the “right to privacy” which was later used to justify Roe, was first formulated. The Griswold decision made it legal for married couples to use contraceptives. Incredibly (or so it seems to us today) the state forbid contraceptives for married couples back then (1965). Why? Because of the special responsibilities the married couple had to the State to produce the next generation and the special protected status granted marital unions to do so. (More on Griswold here.)
The State (once upon a time) took marriage very seriously. The survival of civilization and society depended on it (as stated in Skinner v Oklahoma and Loving v Virginia). Marriage, in the eyes of the State was never about two people loving each other. The State (and the Court), never says that. For the State, marriage is about the production, socialization, and education of the next generation necessary for the survival of society. In return, the State grants marriages special privileges and protections. 
That the State expected married couple to produce is evidenced by the laws which forbid the use of contraceptives in marriage. In Griswold (who was the head of Planned Parenthood by the way) contraception won the day with the aid of a court-concocted "right to privacy" that paved the way for Roe (and eventually Lawrence v. Kansas).
But aside from the legal connection, increased contraception leads to increased abortion simply due to the law of averages. Those who use contraception use it because they do not want a child. All contraception has a failure rate. Because people believe they are protected from pregnancy, they engage in a greater number of sexual acts leading to a greater number of contraceptive failures which gives us a greater number of pregnancies. And then abortion is simply used as the ultimate birth control. Today, with contraception more available than ever before, Americans dismember, mutilate, burn, poison, scrape, and crush an average of 4000 unborn children every day. 

The only real "common ground" found in the discussion was the desire to see fewer abortions and to that end education, adoption, and contraception were suggested. We've already dispatched the contraception solution. As regards adoption, there's a reason parents desirous of adopting a child are having to go to Russia, China, and other foreign countries to do so. The U.S. doesn't have the babies. This fact deserves more examination for in short, abortion is not about the young girl or the poor woman who is not able to provide for a child (a cliche). Abortion is primarily about covering one's promiscuous backside which is why adoption will never be a solution or even part of it. 

As for education, yes, but the same education that is used to discourage people from smoking. Just as high school health teachers have no problem showing pictures of blackened and diseased lungs and people in their 40's and 50's hacking themselves to death, abortion must be shown for what it scientifically is. Show the procedures. Make sure that the public understands what abortion actually looks like. Watch The Silent Scream. Watch as the child struggles and tries to get away from the abortionist's knife as he slices up his body. Look at the pictures of fully formed children burned and blackened by saline solution. Education? Let's have it. 

To stay informed go to www. esperansa.org.

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