Thursday, 2 June 2011

Abuse, Abuse, and Abortion

A trio of recent news items have caught my eye, and I wanted to pass them on as well as some thoughts and comments.

1. A couple weeks ago the US Conference of Catholic Bishops put out a report on the abuse cases happening here in the US. Miranda Celeste does an exceptional job of pointing out what is wrong with the report (actually, exceptional isn't a strong enough word). To sum up, they rely on limited and untrustworthy data from dubious sources, redefine "pedophilia" in order to make their percentages look better, and make numerous attempts to re-locate all the blame on other sources, such as the prevailing culture and lack of training (in how not to abuse children). In conclusion, Ms. Celeste says:

Time and time again we have seen that the Church will do whatever it takes to downplay and/or cover up their failings and crimes. They have shown their willingness to fight dirty, and one of the most useful and effective tools in their arsenal is their dominance of the discourse and conversation (both in the media and elsewhere) about these issues. The Causes and Context study is a textbook example of this: when the media reports its “takeaways” without providing context, they are, in effect, doing the Church’s face-saving dirty work for them.


Don’t shut up, even when you feel like you’re repeating yourself. It took me a while to realize that the reason I’ve sometimes been repetitive when writing about this is that the Church itself has repeated the same crimes and the same institutionally sanctioned cover-ups over and over again. They repeatedly refuse to admit their culpability or to face legal punishment when appropriate. And, most importantly, they repeatedly deny outsiders access to their files that contain information on the sexual abuse of children and the cover-ups of that abuse.

Until the day that they allow that access, until the day that the light of public scrutiny is finally able to illuminate and reveal the darkest and most disturbing aspects of the Church, we owe it to the victims to never, ever shut up.

She hits the nail on the head. And, it can not be stressed enough that the crimes of abuse are horrible, but what really gets me going is that the church has facilitated these crimes, covered up these crimes, made excuses for these crimes and cover-ups that point all the blame elsewhere instead of owning up to it, and shown no regard for their actions and made no attempt at atonement or responsibility.

2. And, speaking of abuse, one California mother thought it a good idea to slit her children's throats because of the rapture. Luckily the children were saved and she's incarcerated right now, but this illustrates quite well the real harm that such religiously derived irrational beliefs can cause to the people who uncritically accept such ridiculous beliefs.

3. But, hey, on the lighter side of things, if you ever want to go to a fun, hip, happening place to kill some babies, the Abortionplex is for you!


Tertiffic said...

Wow. (Yes, I'm back!). I read the report and I have to agree that it's utterly ridiculous. Particularly the part where they attempted to somehow free the priests of being "Pedophile priests" by claiming they are only sexual abusers. Is that supposed to be a better title? There is no excuse for their behavior, and there is certainly no excuse for hiding the truth or attempting to justify what they have done. The correct approach would have been to reveal the truth, deeply apologize for what has been done, turn from their ways, and seek a tangible solution to deal with the issue in the church in the present and in the future. Form some sort of accountability system for priests, and in addition, turn in all previous men who have been accused to government officials. The church is not somehow exempt from the governmental law. If a man is accused of any offense that is against the law, he should no doubt be turned in. The only situation in which a fellow church official is not held to such a responsibility is if the priest himself admitted to such an act in confession. In that case, the only thing the official can do is persuade him to turn himself in, which he should by all means do. It's quite clear that the American church---both Catholic & Protestant---is in great need of reform.

The story about the woman slitting her children's throat is equally apalling. This is indeed irrational, but I hope you realize that such a belief is not actually in line with what the Bible teaches. The fault does not lie with Christianity itself, but the woman herself, because she clearly did not actually believe all that the Word of God says...if she did, she wouldn't have ever feared the tribulation at all or more importantly attempted to murder her own children.

It took me a while to realize the abortionplex article was from the onion. I know...I'm slow. :-) So where do you morally and legally stand on abortion? And why?

Tigerboy said...

Hey Tertiffic!

Welcome back!

I strongly agree with one of the things you said, and I disagree with another.

---"The church is not somehow exempt from the governmental law."

Exactly right. This is not a case where the Church needs to be better at self-supervision, or needs to be more open and accountable regarding access to its records. Those records need to be forced open, by the courts.

Where the Vatican claims sovereignty, it needs to be recognized as an uncooperative, rogue state.

This is a case where those in authority need to stop giving the Church a "free ride". We need to enforce our laws! The Church has demonstrated, countless times, that it has little regard for the law, or the human rights of our children.

They must be held accountable by humanity. Far more priests need to go to jail. Restitution must be paid.

People need to recognize that the Catholic Church is a threatening entity, regarding the safety and security of our children.

Regarding the woman slitting the throats of her children:

---"The fault does not lie with Christianity itself, but the woman herself, because she clearly did not actually believe all that the Word of God says . . . "

Teaching people that outlandish, authoritarian, violent, power-trip fantasies are the road to peace, love, and happiness is a mixed message that can sometimes lead to tragedy.

How can you teach millions of people that there is great Truth to be learned in the story of Abraham and his son, and then say that Christianity has nothing to do with the situation when one of those people thinks it's a good idea to kill her own kids?

Christianity taught her that THIS life was not the important one. She learned that lesson! It was a tragedy for her kids.

She freaked out on this apocalyptic literature.

I'm not saying she didn't have mental problems, all on her own. But, was teaching her this grandiose fantasy a good idea? Did that help?

How about we teach people there is value in being good to each other, without all the end-of-the-world scenarios?

GCT said...

Welcome back.

I agree with your first paragraph, almost in full. My only objection would be to the idea that things said in confessional should or could be held in secret. I don't agree. We have laws that make sense regarding patient/doctor, lawyer/client, and spousal privilege, although those get cloudy when the issue of the commission of a felony are included. I see no reason, however, to include priests as part of that list.

As to your second paragraph, again I pretty much agree. Even Jesus states that no one knows the time/day/hour/etc including him. That said, there have been numerous attempts throughout history to define the time/day/hour/etc of the end of the world (not just in Xianity BTW) and people always find some justification for it (even in the Bible). I think the problem lies, however, in irrationality, of which Xianity is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

As for abortion, let me just say that I am staunchly pro-choice and pro-women's right to self-autonomy. The why would be that I believe in equal rights for persons.

Tigerboy said...

All considerations that are extended to a fetus come to it by way of the continuing good will (and the continuing good health) of the mother.

The mother derives rights from two sources:

Her society. In the United States we would say that she has rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Her rights actually come from being a member of her society. She is one of "The People." She is a citizen.

She also has rights as a member of the human race. (God-given rights, if you please. It's just a term. One need not believe in God, in order to recognize the concept of basic human rights.) Those rights also derive from people. ALL people. The totality of humankind.

Regarding the rights of a member of a free society (let's use a type of society like the US as an example), the only entity who is the beneficiary of any rights of citizenship, the only entity who's rights society has a motivating interest to secure, the only entity who may enjoy the protections of the Constitution, is the mother. She is a citizen. She has rights of self-determination.

Her rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, even her rights (I would argue) to safe and proper health care, MUST be protected.

Until such time as the fetus lives independently of the mother, the fetus has no rights. Extending rights to the fetus has great potential to TRAMPLE the rights of the mother, to compromise her autonomy, which runs contrary to the interests of society.

It's her body. It's her choice.

She's the one who must be allowed to self-determine.

She's the one who is a citizen of a free society. Her rights deserve consideration and protection. The fetus is not a member of a society. The fetus exists at the pleasure of the mother. The fetus exists completely under the mother's jurisdiction.

Regarding HUMAN rights, an argument can be made that, once the fetus reaches a point in it's development where it becomes viable (independent of the mother's womb), it's fellow humans will feel an obligation, may even have a RIGHT, to step in and protect it, regardless of the opinion of the mother. Separation from her body is key. Extending rights to the fetus, at that time, no longer impinges on the mother's right to self-determine.

The mother is "God" of the fetus's universe. She owns full determination of its fate, along with full determination of her own fate.

She may "hatch" her egg, or "crush" it. This is a UNIVERSAL right of motherhood, ACROSS THE ANIMAL KINGDOM. (You don't get much more "God-given" than that.)

Tigerboy said...

Mothers determine the fate of their offspring. They always have. That right pre-dates humanity. UNTIL ex-uterine viability. (I would say, until it passes out of her body.) Then, the child becomes part of a larger community.

As medical science takes viability back and back, this will continue to be a controversial subject. What will happen when we have artificial wombs? What will happen when viability retreats all the way back to conception?

There is also the totally relevant topic of overpopulation and diminishing resources. Why is it in our interest to force gestation of unwanted children into a world that doesn't have enough food or clean water for the people we already have? It's not.

With the state of technology that we have today, it seems sensible to me to allow ALL decisions regarding the fate of the fetus to be determined by the one who created it and carries it. The mother.

Until viability.

Why should we limit the mother's control? Once viability retreats to conception, viability reveals itself to be a poor standard. Why gestate millions of unwanted babies into an overcrowded world? Society simple does NOT have an interest in gestating legions of unwanted fetuses.

What should be the TRUE standard?

The wishes of BOTH parents. (Possibly arbitrated by the courts.)

Perhaps, once we have artificial wombs, mothers will have to appear before a judge to apply for an abortion, and judge will have greater latitude to give equal consideration to the wishes of the father.

We'll see what happens, down the road.

I actually can picture a scenario whereby viability is rejected as a standard. (Viability WILL retreat to the point of conception.) I can picture a scenario whereby the mother's rights as decision-maker continue until the child passes from her body, regardless of viability. (Yes, I'm talking about the possibility of the execution of a full term, healthy, unwanted baby.) I'm not saying I think this WILL happen, or SHOULD happen. I'm just saying I can envision it. Mommy should be allowed the choice of whether or not she becomes mommy. She should be allowed to control her own body, and her maternal destiny.

When such time of unlimited viability comes, where does one draw the line that limits the mother's control? (I'd say, she relinquishes CONTROL where she relinquishes POSSESSION.)

Society has no interest in creating baby farms.

Woman have rights to control what happens within the jurisdiction of their own bodies.

Mothers choosing life, or death, for their offspring is perfectly natural. It has been a part of motherhood for as long as there have been mothers.

Children'sLitReview said...

Hey guys! Are we friends yet? Cuz I kind of feel like we are. :-)

Tigerboy, about your first post, where you talk about the Abrahamic covenant, I think you greatly misundertand the purpose of the story. God had promised Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars THROUGH Isaac. The command for Abraham to kill Isaac was merely a test. Such a request completely went against the very nature and character of God and were he to allow the death of Isaac, God would have been unfaithful to His word and a liar. Abraham knew this. He knew that either God would stop Him from killing his son, or that He would raise Isaac from the dead. And of course, God did stop him as he thought He would. No where in the Bible has God ever condoned child sacrifice. He has never declared such an atrocious thing to be good.

Also, Christianity does not teach us that this life is not important, but rather that there is more than just this life. If this life were not important, then there would be no reason for me to be alive at all. If that were the case, I should have killed myself to go be with God upon conversion a long time ago, and every other Christian should have followed suit throughout history.

I'm also kind of amazed that you don't see the Bible as teaching us to do good to one another. Especially when it is the very origin of such principles as "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets" (Mt. 7:12) or "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.(Phil. 2:3). Are those not good principles to live by? Also, God does not ever condone doing good to avoid bad consequences (such as the end of the world, sacrifice, discomfort, death). This is why he declares the unreligious man to be more righteous than the religious man in Luke 18:9-14. He desires us to do good for the sake of doing good, which we can never achieve apart from Him.

I guess I kind of just gave you a Bible lesson, huh? But I think it's important that if you're going to argue against specific passages in the Bible, you at least understand the meaning behind the passage. Sorry if I just gave you an unwanted Sunday School lesson.

GCT, concerning confession, I think we really should hold it to the same doctor/patient confidentiality clause. I say this because pastors and priests act as counselors to those who are hurting in the community. They take counseling courses in seminary, are trained in counseling, and of course consistently fill the role of counselors in their daily life as a pastor or priest. You would not believe the amount of calls we receive at the church for pastors from those who are in crisis. Problems with their kids, problems in their marriage, unfaithful spouses, not being able to pay bills, suddenly getting sick, someone close to them dying, pregnant teens, or of course anyone struggling with sin in general, anywhere from pride and selfishness to murder or rape (though I have yet to know about any murder or rape in our specific church). These pastors and priests are not just men parading around with Bibles (well, most of them anyways. I'm sure there are exceptions.) They are in fact counselors.

Children'sLitReview said...

As for abortion, I'm sure you guys can already guess my stance. :-) I too believe in equal rights, but I base this belief upon the fact that all human beings have equal value. What abortion laws seem to teach us is that our value as human beings is determined by whether or not we are wanted. I say this not just because unwanted fetuses are denied the right to live, but also because in countless cases before the law where a pregnant woman is murdered, the defendant is charged with the murder of TWO people. So, in one case the mother wants the baby and someone else takes its life. It is deemed murder. In another case, the baby is not wanted and someone else takes its life. In this case it is not deemed murder. So does this mean that anyone who is not wanted by a parent should not have the right to live? And what about a homeless person living alone on the streets, unwanted by society? Does he deserve to live?

Not only does abortion devalue the life of the fetus, but it also devalues the woman herself. Who are the typical clients of an abortion clinic? They are often young, teriffied women in crisis. They are scared their parents will disown them. They are scared their boyfriend will abandon them. They are scared they will not be a good mother. They are scared they can not afford a child. (My Grandma counsels women at a pregnancy crisis center across from an abortion clinic here in town. Every girl that comes in is TERRIFIED) And what does abortion tell them but that they indeed can not rise above their circumstances. That they can not be a good mother because they are poor. That they can not create a nurturing environment for their child because the father chooses to leave. That their children can not grow up to become significant members of society because of who their parents are.

Also, we can not ignore the eugenics (if you'll remember, eugenics were also the basis for Hitler's extermination of Jews, homosexuals, and the mentally challenged) that are present in the foundations of Planned Parenthood and the "birth control" movement of the 60s. We also can not ignore that so many---a majority---of these abortion clinics are purposefully placed in African American neighborhoods. The African American community is just now beginning to realize this.

Anyways, those are my thoughts. I am not against equal rights at all, but I am FOR people, both men AND women, taking responsibility for their actions, which includes bearing a child that has resulted from irresponsible sexual choices and either caring for it themselves or putting it up for adoption so that those who want to care for it can.

Tertiffic said...

Oops, I was logged in to the wrong account for those posts. Ignore that was for a class. :-)

Tertiffic said...

Oh, Tigerboy, I also wanted to ask you about your comment of overpopulation and lack of resources. Is that really the case? (I really would like to know an answer if you have one...a link to an article or something that you know of, perhaps?) Because it seems to me that we have plenty of resources, just not enough people who are willing to share and selflessly give. Many are poor and starving simply because of the greed of others. Take the situation in Zimbabwe, for example. Everyone is poor and starving because President Mugabe will not give up his power, and they can not force him out because he has promised so many war veterans the land that the British...or white man...took from them before their independence. Now there are a bunch of men viiolently taking over farms who don't know how to farm, the workers are forced out because these men can not sustain them like the previous owners could, and food is not really being grown anywhere. I can't help but think that this "overpopulation" argument many governments take up are just a way of covering up the greed and selfishness that they are operating out of.

Tigerboy said...

Children's Lit Review:

The point of my comment has nothing to do with whether, or not, I understand the rather tortured "point" of the story of Abraham and Isaac.

My point had to do with whether, or not, it is a good idea to teach masses of people, many of whom will not understand the finer nuances of the parable, that there is Divine Perfection and great Truth in this rather nasty story about a man hearing voices in his head that are instructing him to murder his son, and his total willingness to listen to the voices and carry out the act!

Furthermore, when a student of this violence-filled philosophy learns the wrong lesson, and actually murders her own children, whilst inflamed by the end-of-days ravings of a more modern lunatic, how can one claim that Christianity had nothing to do with it?

The woman who slit her children's throats obviously had a screw loose.

But, teaching violent, apocalyptic, retribution literature (that was written for an Iron Age audience) to modern audiences is dangerous. It is FAMOUSLY interpreted in almost as many different ways as there are readers. It is morality lessons out of time and place. Confusing. Dangerous.

My understanding of the story, or lack, is not the point!

The point is that we should teach CLEARER lessons about being good to our fellow humans, without including frightening, confusing parables about the awe-inspiring Truth to be found in stories about lunatics who hears auditory hallucinations that tell him to kill his child, and what a GOOD man he is because he is willing to do it!

This woman, who studied such stories, and then killed her own children, was enthralled by her religiosity. The fact that SHE misunderstood the "point" of the story was a predictable eventuality.

She's hardly the first person to learn violent behavior from the Bible. Inquisition, anybody?

Teaching people to be peaceful, by way of threats of violence, teaches incorrectly. The Bible is brimming with violence.

Tigerboy said...


From Wikipedia:

---"It is estimated that the population of the world reached one billion in 1804, two billion in 1927, three billion in 1960, four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987, and six billion in 1999. It is projected to reach seven billion in October 2011, and around eight billion by 2025–2030. By 2045–2050, the world's population is currently projected to reach around nine billion, with alternative scenarios ranging from 7.4 billion to 10.6 billion."

The world oceans have been so overfished that over half of the world's fish species are considered "fully exploited" and more than a third of the world's fish species are considered "over exploited" or "crashing."

We have totally stripped the ocean of its biodiversity. All of the largest of the food fish, like Blue Fin tuna, Swordfish, Marlin, and Halibut, are gone. Finding large, mature examples of these fish has become increasingly rare.

(Of course, eating these large, mature fish is really bad idea. They are filthy with mercury. We are poisoning our own food supply at an alarming rate, and in countless ways.)

Ocean biodiversity is crashing.

Many of the largest land mammals are disappearing from the wild. Rhinos are headed for extinction. Tigers are disappearing from the wild. Polar Bears will disappear with the melting polar ice caps, which is CLEARLY well under way. They need pack ice to survive. Polar Bears, gone. Walruses, too. Gone when the pack ice melts.

Have you ever been to Glacier National Park? I have. The glaciers are almost gone.

Our ancient web of life is unraveling. At the same time that human populations have skyrocketed, land and sea fauna of all descriptions are crashing.

This planet is not just overpopulated with humans, it has an unsustainable INFESTATION of humans! Where will our food come from, once we kill all the fish and land animals?

Google "global warming" or "climate change."

This is all related to out-of-control population growth.

Our current rate of population growth, and the rate are which we are exhausting our natural resources, and the speed with which we are destroying our fellow animals and our shared planetary environment, are unsustainable.

Tigerboy said...

Children's Lit Review:

As has been pointed out countless times in these pages, Christianity is NOT the origin of "The Golden Rule."

Virtually all religions have some version of it.

Empathy and fair play come from humans, not religion.

GCT said...

1. Counselors/Confession

If religious figures wish to be actual "counselors" and hold things with an official doctor/patient confidentiality, then they need to be licensed with the state/licensing authorities in order to ensure compliance with state regulations/laws and also to ensure that they actually have the credentials/abilities needed to properly handle their duties. Are they licensed by the state? I'm thinking not, except maybe in a "I'm a priest, so therefore I automatically granted license to dispense any advice based on my dogma that I want to," which I object to. If they want the protection of the law to hold certain professional relationships, then they need to comply with the laws in both proving their professional acumen and in performance of their duties.

2. Isaac

The god of the OT changes his mind a lot, and the promises made on one day can very easily change on the next. Abraham had no assurance that god did not change his mind. Additionally, the idea of "testing" Abraham is inconsistent with the idea of a perfect god who is omni-max.

3. Importance of Life

This is inconsistency from the Xian point of view. There is no need for this life if god is who he is claimed to be. Additionally, do aborted fetuses go to heaven or hell? Either answer puts the Xian in a troubling position.

4. god condoning doing "good" to avoid bad consequences

This is inconsistent with what god's actions actually reveal. Throughout the OT god says, "Do my will (what is good) or face the consequences." Making implicit or explicit threats is a form of condoning "good" to avoid bad consequences. This is rather magnified in the NT with the over-arching threat of hell.

5. Abortion

I fail to see how providing more choices to a woman somehow devalues her life or the life of a fetus. By providing more options and more freedom, we are allowing the woman to be a fully-valued operating member of society instead of simply slut-shaming her and forcing her to carry to term for failing to keep her legs together.

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny that you only mention a violent case that has to do with religion, as if atheists never do anything murderous or violent. Regardless of beliefs, if you want to be taken seriously then you should consider looking at both sides.

"Until such time as the fetus lives independently of the mother, the fetus has no rights. Extending rights to the fetus has great potential to TRAMPLE the rights of the mother, to compromise her autonomy, which runs contrary to the interests of society."

So if a child is going to be born prematurely by a month, the doctor shouldn't have any reason to try and save it. Also, to live "independently of the mother" a fetus would have to be at least a few years old. Newborn children, heck even some ten year olds couldn't live independently from their mothers, so this point has no validity.

Also, just because some woman decides her baby (that's right, BABY) isn't convenient, that shouldn't give her the right to KILL it.

"Why should we limit the mother's control? Once viability retreats to conception, viability reveals itself to be a poor standard. Why gestate millions of unwanted babies into an overcrowded world? Society simple does NOT have an interest in gestating legions of unwanted fetuses.

What should be the TRUE standard?"

You're trying to justify killing of unborn babies just by saying that the world has too many people already and people don't want the baby? Why don't people just start killing off the elderly then in order to make more space, especially since they're probably not as "wanted" as others?

"Mothers choosing life, or death, for their offspring is perfectly natural. It has been a part of motherhood for as long as there have been mothers."

So this justifies the mother who tried to slit her kids' throats, and also acknowledges that abortion means ending the life of an unborn child.

Forever is a long time to be wrong about God.

GCT said...

"I think it's funny that you only mention a violent case that has to do with religion, as if atheists never do anything murderous or violent."

The difference between the two is the religion exhorts, facilitates, and encourages this sort of violence, whereas atheism does not.

"Regardless of beliefs, if you want to be taken seriously then you should consider looking at both sides."

By all means, let's do just that. Please find some examples where atheism teaches people to kill their own children, hide the sexual abuse of children, or anything analogous.

"Also, just because some woman decides her baby (that's right, BABY) isn't convenient, that shouldn't give her the right to KILL it."

What makes you think it's a baby? Would it be because you believe it has some magical property called a "soul?"

"You're trying to justify killing of unborn babies just by saying that the world has too many people already and people don't want the baby?"

What's your justification for forcing women to submit to pregnancy?

"Forever is a long time to be wrong about God."

So, you better start believing in Allah too, just in case.

Tigerboy said...

Anonymous, you are being (intentionally?) obtuse about a very important distinction between a fetus and a baby (or a ten year old child) that exists outside it's mother's body.

Just that.

A fetus exists as a part of it's mother's body.

You might think it's a bad idea for a young woman to get a hideous tattoo all across her face, but it's her right to do as she pleases with her own body. So, your opinion, society's opinion, does not matter. The tattoo is HER choice.

You might think it's a bad idea for a young woman to cut off her own big toe, but it's her right to do as she pleases with her own body. So, your opinion, society's opinion (as long as we don't feel she is insane and must be protected from her own inability to think clearly), does not matter. The toe removal is HER choice.

The fetus doesn't make decisions, the mother does.

She gets to determine her own fate, as well as the the fate of all tenants of her body.

It is not until she relinquishes control, when the tenant leaves her body (and gets a full refund of it's security deposit), that the baby gets "human rights" (rights that cannot possibly conflict with the autonomy of the mother) and society may step in and protect one of it's own.

That's my opinion.

I believe that viability will (increasingly) be revealed to be a poor standard.

But, make no mistake, mothers have determined the fate of their offspring since time immemorial. They will continue to do so.

The woman slitting her children's throats is different. Those children are, unquestionably, human beings. They do not exist as a part of anyone else's body. They have "human rights" that society must defend.

Their human rights do not interfere with anyone's rights of self-determination.

The mother wins. She has the right to deliver, or to crush. It's her choice.

If medical science learns to gestate the child without her, perhaps the father's rights get equal voice.

Society does NOT have an interest in extending "human rights" to the contents of Petri dishes.

Zygotes do not have the same rights as fully-formed adult human beings. Sorry.

Tertiffic said...

Alright, I just have one thing to say in response. We’ve chatted a lot on this blog, and we’ve often come to a place where you guys deem God to be immoral for, first of all, allowing evil to exist at all, and second of all, for Him allowing death/hell to come to anyone. Many consider the allowance of suffering and death by God to be immoral. Many look at the tsunami that happened back in 2004 and see it as an act of God, and because it is an act of God and through that act so many suffered and died, His decision to take those lives is immoral. So here we have God, who created and essentially bore all men and women in his own image, being declared immoral for choosing to take that life which was born to Him. And yet here we also have a woman bearing life within her, choosing to take that life (or zygote, as you call it…but I think we can all agree that without human interference or the natural occurrence of miscarriage, that zygote would indeed eventually become a life and come into the world as a human being), and somehow this decision is deemed moral. So tell me, how is it that a woman has the moral right to choose whether that which she has created lives or dies, and yet God does not have that same moral right to choose whether or not that which He has created lives or dies. Please explain this conundrum to me…

Tigerboy said...

First of all, Tertiffic, there is a very important distinction between "moral" and "legal."

Morality is a judgment call.

People judge things differently.

You see some things as immoral that don't bother me, and, most likely, I see some things as immoral that don't bother you. (We probably agree on more than we disagree, since we're both humans who suffer in similar ways, but we see life from our own, unique points of view.)

There is no absolute morality.

I may believe something is wrong, but that does not mean that I am so certain that I want the government to step in and legally ENFORCE everyone's compliance with Tigerboy's moral opinions.

For some things, there is such universality of agreement that we DO want the weight of the law behind it.

I do not claim that I see the act of terminating a pregnancy as Tigerboy's vision of moral perfection, but it's none of my business. I do not want the state to step in and prevent a mother from making her own choice. It's a complicated situation. It's a personal situation. The mother is the one who's life is going to completely change.

You and I may debate all night about the degree to which her act of termination is right or wrong, but, for us, it's not a life-altering event. We don't know the challenges she faces. We don't know her situation.

We, as a society, should stay out of it.

Once the baby is born, we can protect the rights of the baby human, the baby member of our society, without forcing the mother to do anything against her will. She can walk away and do as she pleases.

I know, if the state forces her to gestate against her will, she will seek other measures. A person will do what she must in order to control her own destiny. Things like surprise, unwanted pregnancies make people feel desperate. Those other measures could threaten her health and safety.

I see society's role as protecting HER rights, HER health, HER safety, not the cells growing on the wall of her uterus. Society should protect her rights to her own life, her own liberty, and her own pursuit of happiness.

I do NOT see her actions as morally perfect.

LEGALLY, I want the situation to be her decision about how she would like to proceed with her own life and her own body. I care about her, not the zygote. Once they are individual humans, I care about the rights of each of them.

Mother brings baby into the world. Life is her gift to give. We have no business forcing her to make that gift.

Tigerboy said...

Regarding these questions you posed about the morality of the actions of God . . .

---"Many consider the allowance of suffering and death by God to be immoral."

---"So here we have God, who created and essentially bore all men and women in his own image, being declared immoral for choosing to take that life which was born to Him. And yet here we also have a woman bearing life within her, choosing to take that life . . . "

Again, I may harbor the opinion that her actions have moral problems, but I don't want those actions to be illegal.

This is a demonstration of why morality is not absolute. Since morality is a judgment call, it changes according to the particulars of the situation, and who's doing the judging.

Killing ANY form of life may have morality issues, but I, obviously, care more about the death of my father, or the death of my child, than I care about the death of a housefly.

The pregnant woman's decision to terminate is irrevocable. It's a huge decision. She will always have to live with her decision.

The act of killing shouldn't be much of a moral dilemma for an OmniMax being who can easily restore life.

I have very different expectations regarding strict adherence to a perfect moral code between these two beings:

1) A single woman, who just found out she has an unwanted pregnancy, who's living in a rented studio apartment, who just had her used Ford Fiesta repossessed, who can't pay her electric bill (let alone the care and feeding of a baby), and who is just about to lose her ability to keep working as a waitress at Denny's.


2) The all-powerful Creator of the Universe.

I may judge her actions as immoral, but I'm gonna cut her some slack. She needs some compassion and understanding, not more judgment. For her, life is hard enough. Her fellow humans should let her choose a path that might make her life a little easier, not force her further into poverty. A baby should be a joy, not a punishment.

I might be somewhat more critical of the immoral actions of a being who is free to do EXACTLY as He pleases. (Especially, when we are talking about His limitless fetishes for TORTURE. Creating beings who's design calls for them to be imperfect, and then torturing them for falling short of perfection, is nasty.)

I will let GCT speak for himself, because he writes more frequently than I do about the logical fallacies of the immoral actions of OmniMax, but (if I may be so bold), we are not criticizing God. (We don't believe God exists!). We are criticizing the illogical nature of the FICTION that the pious claim is REALITY.

The logic problems reveal the premise to lack basic credibility.

If God actually does exist, He can do whatever He wants. He doesn't need to worry about what Tigerboy and GCT think about the morality of His actions.

We are merely pointing out the logical fallacies in this entirely HUMAN fiction. The flaws prove it's human, not divine.

The claim that this fiction describes reality, or describes a logical universal construct, or describes a benevolent, loving deity, while it simultaneously claims that the majority of humans will default to eternal torture, is totally goofy.

God can do as He pleases.

The Pink Unicorn can do as he pleases.

I don't care what they do, because they are dreams.

People who make unwarranted claims about the REALITY we all share, claims that have NOTHING to demonstrate any merit, should expect criticism.

Pointing out that the actions of the lead character in this morality play are illogical and immoral is just a way of pointing out that the whole thing IS fiction. It lacks basic logic. It's not even good fiction.

Tertiffic said...

Hey Tigerboy, can I ask you a question? (I'll write more later, but I've got to go soon.) Do you believe that truth exists? And if so, can we know it? And if we can know it, how do we know it? I get the feeling this is probably the main area of difference between what I believe and what you believe, so can you explain your own thoughts on this? I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

Tigerboy said...

I do believe in truth. I believe in things that can be shown to be true.

I believe in reality. I believe in that which can be demonstrated and explained by the scientific method.

I believe in the truths revealed by the powerful combination of unbiased education, objective curiosity, and peer review.

I not only believe in truth, I have great respect for it.

Tigerboy said...

I am not saying that the only things that are true are the ones we understand, or can demonstrate, or even know about.

There certainly must be countless things in this vast universe that we don't understand, and those things exist in reality. They are objectively true. But, we are not in a position to describe that truth.

Religion claims to know "truth" about things humans cannot possibly know. That's called: Making shit up.

Describing the objective truth of something takes that other powerful trinity I referred to, unbiased education, objective curiosity, and peer review.

Religion tries to stifle all three.

I also realize that, in the course of human events, true objectivityis not entirely possible. We do the best we can. But, it's fairly easy to spot a good attempt at objectivity, and a poor attempt. And then there's blatant hucksterism.

Religion tends toward the hucksterism.

Truth exists, but we must not claim that we know that truth until we really do understand it from a sincere attempt at objectivity.

GCT said...

I think you asked a good question about why god's killing is seen as immoral while abortion is not seen as immoral. The answer for me (if we were to assume that god exists and is omni-max) is the obvious difference in scale of the options/powers available to the participants and whether unborn fetuses have the same moral considerations as living humans (i.e. are fetuses human beings?)

Let's face it - abortion is something that people do because either the pregnancy is unwanted or complications will result or are resulting (and it's not limited to single, young, poor women). If we had the ability to ensure that every pregnancy was planned and would not lead to complications, no abortions would happen. We simply don't have that power. The unexpected happens and we can not control the universe.

god does not have that same limitation. For god to cause a tsunami is malicious or at the very best negligence. And, god can not use the excuse that things simply got out of hand, because god has foreknowledge and the power to shape the universe in any way imaginable. In fact, if you hold to an omni-max god, you must hold that the universe is completely determined and all the actions that happen must be played out as god has planned - so any actions/etc. that we take that land us in hell were pre-determined by god to happen so that he would send us to hell as he planned from the beginning. I trust that I don't have to point out how cruel and vicious that is.

A lot of people will try to let god off the hook for these things stating that because he has so much power he is absolved of responsibility towards us. Not so, and quite the opposite in fact. Because god has so much power he has taken on more responsibility towards us.

To my other point about whether a fetus is fully human or not, you mentioned that absent complications, the fetus will grow to be a person. (To clarify one thing - actually, it's alive from the start and the components that combine are also alive - whether it is human or not is another question.) I don't believe that an unborn fetus/zygote/whatever is human, at least from a legal standpoint. I'll admit that morally it becomes a stickier point if one talks about whether the fetus can feel pain or is sentient.

god sending a tsunami to kill sentient humans is quite a different thing than aborting a non-sentient or pre-human being.

I've ignored the concept of a soul (which I don't believe exists anyway) in this discussion because I don't believe in souls, but those create more problems for god without creating problems for humans, so we don't need to bring those in, unless you'd like to discuss that aspect as well.

Tertiffic said...

Okay, so Tigerboy, here’s what I’m understanding you as saying: There is absolute truth, but we can not know all that is absolutely true. The only truth that we can know is that which is unbiasly proven through the sciences. Am I on target with that? So...would you say that we can only know truth through observation---as in, by what we see? Because science is essentially the visual observation of nature. In science, even sound is given measurements so that we might have a visual representation of it. So would you say that we can only know truth by what we see? Or would you include the other five senses in there? Smell, Hearing, Touch, and Taste?

When it comes to abortion, I understand that there is a debate between when the child actually becomes a human life, but really…is that a solid argument? If it’s going to naturally become a human being, doesn’t that already make it a human being? If it is of the homo sapien species…isn’t it human? We can’t just pretend that it’s not a human life to justify our actions and try to feel better about ourselves. No matter what, a woman who is pregnant outside of marriage is going to feel shame. If she decides to carry the baby, she’s going to feel shame. If she decides to abort it, she’s going to feel shame. I certainly understand the need for compassion on any woman in a pregnancy crisis. I just feel like abortion is the least compassionate approach we can take to a woman in this crisis. It’s treating the unborn child as the problem, when the child is but a symptom of an entire situation. When a woman gets an abortion. Voila. No more baby. Problem gone. Never mind the fact that she’s struggling to survive, making irresponsible sexual and relationship decisions, emotionally devastated, etc. Get her to go to a pregnancy crisis center, however, and she’s able to develop relationships, get job assistance, receive donations, and have an entire support system to help bring this baby into the world and find a home for it if necessary. That’s how you really take care of the problem…not by relieving them of their responsibility to carry out the consequences of a bad decision. In your personal opinion…Doesn’t the entire scenario of abortion strike you as selfish? I mean, really, a woman can’t give up nine months of her life to allow this child within her to live? Nine months. That’s it. If she doesn’t want it, then why not just have it and give it up for adoption? There are plenty of families out there looking to adopt. Heck, when I get married, I’ll adopt her child myself. I agree that having a baby should be a joyful occasion, but if a mother doesn’t feel joyful about it, that doesn’t give her reason to just “rid” herself of the “problem.” I suppose we could say that these pregnancies are “unexpected,” but seriously…who doesn’t understand the basic principles of human reproduction? If you have sex…pregnancy is likely to occur. How has that not been made clear?

Tertiffic said...

And if I’m really honest, most men don’t exactly have good motives in being pro-choice. On the one hand you have men who declare pro-choice because they’re too afraid of women calling them “chauvinistic pigs” for believing they should actually own up to being responsible human beings. Then on the other hand you have men declaring pro-choice because, hey, more sex for them without consequences. The possibility of abortion means that just as the woman doesn’t have to own up to mothering a child, they don’t have to own up to fathering a child. I don’t say this to offend you guys, it’s just that as a woman, I neither see nor meet many men who truly value and respect women by honoring the role of marriage, motherhood, or femininity in general. And as a woman, it just makes me sad. This promise of sexual “freedom” and “happiness” that feminism promised women has only enslaved them further and brought about more depression in women than they ever experienced in the role of wife and mother.
I know this is a sensitive topic, and I don’t want to go about it without compassion. You guys might have close friends who have had an abortion, and you very well could have had a girlfriend who had one. I just don’t know. It might be very personal. But doesn’t this just bother you? Doesn’t it bother you that by legal arguments, it could easily come to a point where a mother could legally rid herself of even a two year-old? Doesn’t it bother you that the value of a human life has been made dependent upon whether or not they are wanted by a parent? And furthermore, if you’ve ever seen pictures or videos (If you haven’t, just go to of an abortion being performed…doesn’t that break your heart at least a little? I think even looking up the definitions to basic words shows that this is genuinely murder.


1. the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.

2. the sum of the distinguishing phenomena of organisms, especially metabolism, growth, reproduction, and adaptation to environment.

3. the animate existence or period of animate existence of an individual


1. to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay.

2. to destroy; do away with; extinguish.

3. to destroy or neutralize the active qualities of.

Tertiffic said...

Just because the law says that it is morally right, doesn’t mean that it is. The law is not meant to determine morality, but to uphold that which is morally right and carry out justice.

GCT said...

Potentiality is not the same as actuality. Growing up, I had the potential to become a rock star, a professional athlete, or any number of things, but that's not the same as actually being one of those things. Why would you consider a clump of 2 cells to be a human? This clump can not feel, react, think, is not sentient, etc. And, if you're being honest, is it because you think it has a soul?

I disagree that allowing abortion is the least compassionate thing we can do when a woman has an unwanted pregnancy. Forcing her to carry to term against her will is a hell of a lot less compassionate. It makes the woman into a baby factory that is not in control of her own body. Giving her choices always leads to more freedom, not less.

Additionally, I doubt you'll find very many women, if any at all, that don't agonize over the decision, instead of the "get out of jail free card" situation that you seem to be making it out to be.

Also, don't get me started on pregnancy crisis centers, which should be illegal due to false advertising. They don't actually provide medical services, they simply provide proselytization, slut shaming, and lies. I think they are ghouls that try to prey on women in a bad situation in order to grow their church ranks. It's disgusting.

Also, no abortion is not selfish necessarily. You do realize that married women obtain abortions simply because they don't want any more kids and their birth control failed, right? I don't think that women who have sex are automatically irresponsible and that getting pregnant should be some sort of punishment that they have to keep for being sluts. That's insane and misogynistic.

Lastly, if we go by definitions, murder is defined as the unlawful taking of a life. Since abortion is legal it, by definition, can not be considered murder.

I'm thinking of putting up a post to discuss the real world implications of anti-choice zealotry.

GCT said...

I thought maybe I should address this issue of shame as well. Why should a woman feel shame for getting an abortion? The idea that she should is a cultural idea that is placed on her based on the patriarchal notions that women who have sex are whores and that when they get pregnant it's their fault for having sex and being whores. Therefore, having an abortion is shameful because they are now whores who can't deal with the just punishment they are receiving for being whores.

I think this is a bunch of BS. There's nothing wrong with women engaging in consentual sexual activities and they should not be labeled as whores or sluts for doing so. It's an innate human characteristic to have a sexual appetite and a sex drive. Why should we deny that for outdated and antiquated ideas about who should or should not have sex and when, especially when those were based on a couple of things that we should no longer recognize as valid:

1. Patriarchal culture where women are property
2. Women were unable to raise children on their own since they were chattel and usually had no income, so unwed mothers were doomed as were their children
3. People used to get married at very young ages
4. The lack of contraception

Although patriarchy is still alive and well, we should reject it. The other 3 are no longer true and asking people to wait until into their 30's to have sex (when more and more people are getting married) is simply ridiculous.

Tigerboy said...

---"So would you say that we can only know truth by what we see? Or would you include the other five senses in there? Smell, Hearing, Touch, and Taste?"

I'm not sure why we would put artificial limits on which senses we may use in order to understand the world around us.

My point is not about vision=good, touch=bad, but rather, the sincere use of objectivity in pursuing an understanding of some feature of reality.

Science uses many possible techniques of observation. The questions are: Have we made every effort to guard against our very human tendency to create fiction? Or, is this really a reflection of truth?

That is why we check, and recheck, and recheck, and recheck our objectivity through a system of peer review.

I would like to know why you originally asked me if I believe truth exists.

---"Doesn’t it bother you that by legal arguments, it could easily come to a point where a mother could legally rid herself of even a two year-old?"

No, absolutely ludicrous fear-mongering from the likes of Pat Robertson does not bother me. (I mean, it bothers me, but I understand it to be the ravings of a lunatic mind. I give it no credence.)

How can you possibly think that our society would ever embrace the idea of killing two year olds?

(Seriously. You've asked some direct questions of me, and I've tried to answer them.)

Do you really believe this preposterous statement? Do you really believe:

" . . . it could easily come to a point where a mother could legally rid herself of even a two year-old?"

I have NEVER heard any supporter of reproductive rights put forth a serious argument in favor of killing small children. Ever.

I promise you, such a proposal has zero chance of becoming law in the United States. Zero chance. It would never happen.

Tertiffic said...

I genuinely don’t even know where to begin in response to your last comments, GCT. I believe you’re sincere in your support of women, but as a woman, I’m going to go ahead and tell you that you’re truly not doing women any favor by supporting our “freedom” of sexuality. Has there always been a double standard concerning sexuality between men and women? Yes. It’s not fair that a woman should be called a slut and shamed for sleeping around while a man gets high-fived and patted on the back. But here’s the thing…we women don’t WANT to sleep around in the first place. We don’t WANT to have mindless, meaningless sex. When we’re little girls we don’t dream of having multiple sexual partners, being single mothers, living independently of men, nor getting married when we’re 30. No. We dream of being pursued, loved, valued, and committed to. We dream of getting married and having a family. Sure, it appears differently because so many women are out there freely giving themselves sexually to men, but do not be deceived by what you see, because it is but the mere evidence of a broken heart and the genuine confusion of a woman’s role concerning sexuality, society, and the family. Let’s just look at the state of women in modern day America. First of all, it’s estimated that one in every four women in the U.S. will be sexually abused in their lifetime. Second, about one-third of all children born in the United States are born out of wedlock and about 25% end up being raised in a single-parent home. Let’s not forget the 50% divorce rate, which is now decreasing, but as it turns out is only decreasing because fewer people are actually bothering to get married at all. Factor in the sexual pressure women receive from the media and their peers, the low self-esteem that is directly linked to sexually promiscuous behavior, the increase in depression among women, and let’s not forget the drug and alcohol abuse that can play quite the major role in young women’s decision to be sexually promiscuous in the first place. Wow…that sure does sound like every woman’s dream! This is the culture and family environment women you see today are growing up in and have grown up in. In many cases, fathers are completely absent from their lives. Ever noticed that the girls with daddy issues are the ones who are typically sleeping around?

And before you go calling me misogynistic, please keep in mind that I am first of all a woman, and that secondly, I am a woman who has grown up in a postmodern society and is well aware of the pressures that have been upon me since birth to be sexually “free.” Being myself a woman, having many female friends, and also being a mentor of young girls, I think I’m a little bit more in touch with the actual desires of a woman’s heart than you boys. Unless, of course that is, you’ve taken the time to sit down with the women in your life, especially the women you’ve slept with in the past, and really had a heart to heart with them about the desires of their heart, their sexuality, their role as a woman in society & the family, etc. Or perhaps you’ve been a woman before, or grown up as a woman in this sex-driven culture? The fact that you would even suggest the rejection of patriarchy absolutely astounds me, when it is the rejection of this very thing (beginning in the 1960s) that has produced the statistics that you see above. To reject patriarchy is to reject the traditional family. All evidence has proven that it is BEST for children to be raised in a two-parent household where male and female roles are clearly defined---where yes, the father leads the household. Statistics show it and history has proven it for centuries. What exactly do you suggest we replace patriarchy with? Gender neutrality? Should we just ditch marriage altogether? Should we no longer define or praise masculinity or femininity? Should we reject them for the sake of equality, despite the fact that women and men are so clearly biologically and emotionally different? It is not that I reject equality or am not thankful for the opportunities that I have

Tertiffic said...

in the workforce and society in general…it is just that we seem to have gotten confused along the way as to what equality is. It is that men and women are of equal VALUE, that they should have equal legal RIGHTS, not that they are the SAME.

It also amazes me that as a man you would embrace feminism and reject patriarchy. Have you even bothered to notice the female dominance of today’s culture? Femininity is nearly lost, as instead of women embracing their feminine nature, they are instead doing everything they can to obtain the male role. Meanwhile, men feel as though they have lost their traditional role and feel as though they have to live by women’s rules. For a woman to stay at home and care for her children is genuinely looked down upon. I know this because for years I felt shame at even having the desire to do so, and there is still a tinge of shame that I feel from society for wanting to even get married at all. And have you noticed the double standards that are prevalent in society? How it is considered abhorrent for a man to beat a woman, yet it is considered funny for a woman to beat a man. Ever seen those pictures of a man on the ground and a woman’s heel pressed against his skull? Please explain to me how that’s funny. And ever noticed how in nearly every modern day family sitcom the male is a complete and total moron and the woman is the intelligent one? Are those shows usually funny? Yes. But if the roles were reversed, you’d hear a whole lot of complaining. The whole reason for the feminist movement was based upon the notion that women were unfulfilled and unsatisfied with the role of wife and mother. Feminism promised this fulfillment that women desired through “equality,” yet as it turns out, after having received equality, women are MORE unfulfilled and unsatisfied today than they were back then. And now men are unfulfilled and unsatisfied as well, because they don’t know what their role is either. Women want equal rights without equal responsibilities, and when things go wrong, all she has to do is point her finger and blame the man. At the first instance that anyone claims that a woman SHOULD be responsible, they are simply deemed misogynistic, as a hater of women.

As a woman, I want to be treated DIFFERENTLY. I want a man to open doors for me. I want a man to desire to protect me. I want a man to pursue me and desire to marry me, not lazily wait around for me to throw myself at him, which is honestly what is expected these days. I want a husband who will LEAD our family. I don’t want to be an aggressive, domineering, nagging wife like I see so many of today, and I don’t want a passive, spineless husband who sits back and lets me take control. I want a husband who will provide for the family. I want to stay home and care for my children. This is the desire of my heart as a woman, and from the conversations I’ve had with my female friends, it’s the desire of their heart as well. The problem is that we feel ashamed for wanting it, and furthermore, we feel like it is something that we can no longer aspire to because it is impossible to obtain. We’ve grown up in divorced and single-parent homes. We’ve learned not to trust men because a) We’ve been taught from society that we shouldn’t trust them and b) We’ve learned from experience not to trust them because of their absent and passive role in our lives. The impact that feminism has had on not just women, but men as well, is absolutely devastating. It has genuinely destroyed the family. So if you want to call me misogynistic for wanting the family back, for wanting men to be men and women to be women, for wanting to have clearly defined roles rather than having to sort out this muddied puddle of gender confusion that is our current culture, then go right ahead and call me that. But just know that in your efforts to “respect” women in such a way, you are also becoming anti-men and discouraging your fellow

Tertiffic said...

men from becoming active and engaged leaders of the family and society. I would suggest you read “Why Men Are The Way They Are” by Warren Farrell. No, I am not suggesting a Christian-agenda book to you, but one which objectively makes a very clear case for reverse-sexism in today’s society and gives the man’s perspective on his current role. You’ll probably be pretty surprised by what you read.

Tertiffic said...

Tigerboy, I know you're being sincere in answering what I asked you. No worries. I asked you the truth question because I find it to be directly linked to absolute morality, which is of course of great importance when it comes to issues such as abortion, and just the legislation of morality in general. I actually had assumed you would say you didn't believe in absolute truth and am surprised that you do given your stance of morality being a judgement call. Since you do believe in absolute truth, but don't believe that we completely know absolute truth, it seems to me that it would make more sense that you would also posit that there is absolute morality, but that we don't know all that is absolutely moral. I actually found a really interesting website that talks about this that I would really love to discuss with you. I actually think you'll agree with nearly everything there. You might be offended at first, but the more you read on I think you'll believe it to be a pretty logical approach to morality and the legislation of it.

I also brought up the topic of absolute truth because I've noticed a vast amount of people in our culture holding to a materialist world-view. (I'm not talking about a love of money or things---though that would be true---but by the belief that we can only know truth by what we physically observe). We see this in a reliance upon science to determine what is true. The only problem is, if we can only know truth by what we see...can a blind person ever know truth? Well, of course they hearing. And yet most people would give storytelling no credibility whatsoever whenever it comes to discovering absolute truth.

I guess I bring this up because so many people hold to the belief that science has disproven God when in all actuality it has neither proven nor disproven Him, nor will it ever be able to do either. God can not be seen, so how would science ever be able to tangibly measure His existence? People always shake their fist at me and say "If your God exists, then why hasn't He shown Himself to us," yet the problem is that those very people have already predetermined in their mind that He does not exist and therefore would never believe Him if they saw Him. If God appeared in all His holiness before them, they would immediately die anyway, and wouldn't even have time to make peace with Him. If He sent a messenger or a prophet, they would declare them to be a lunatic and turn them away. If He audibly spoke to them or appeared to them in visions or dreams, they would declare themselves to be going insane. And if He were to work some miracle before their very eyes, they would most likely do everything in their power to scientifically explain it away and thus disprove a supernatural element. It just seems self-defeating. How can anyone who has already discredited the supernatural demand God to prove himself supernaturally when they will refuse to believe it if He does? I randomly came across this quote the other day that really made sense to me concerning this issue, which

Tertiffic said...

says "Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and the scientist will admit there is much that they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering."

We (I say “we” because every human being is guilty of this, not just the Atheist or Agnostic, but literally everyone) keep demanding God to give an account of Himself, when in reality, God is under no moral obligation whatsoever to do so. He is above the moral law---the Moral Law Giver---He is not subject to the moral law which was given to us. It is we who are accountable to Him, not the other way around, though the whole gist of the Bible and salvation in general is that God is faithful, unchanging, can be trusted, and has accounted of Himself to His creation through the Word of God and yes, even through nature.

We can not discredit the significance of hearing the truth and coming to know the truth through hearing. This is how early Christians came to faith…they did not have a unified Bible like we do today. They were not taught Christianity from the time they were born. Some were Jews, others were Gentiles (Ancient Greeks, Romans, etc.)…and they all believed upon first hearing the Word of God. A lot of people believe faith to be void of evidence for God, but if you look closely at passages in the Bible that refer to faith you’ll find that faith itself IS the evidence of God. Faith comes from God, not from me. The Bible refers to us as being spiritually dead. Therefore, by nature, we humans are not actually spiritual beings. (Which is probably what GCT has observed and how he has come to the conclusion that we don’t have souls). We only become spiritual through faith in Christ, in which we are given the Holy Spirit as affirmation that God exists and that He has remained faithful to His promise of salvation and eternal life.

Too many people take the approach of believing they can discover and encounter God by observing nature, but it simply doesn’t work that way. If an Aboriginal tribesman discovers a watch in the desert, but doesn’t know what the purpose of the watch is nor why it is there, nor does He understand the symbols upon it, how can he possibly come to know what the creator of this watch was like or His relationship to that creator? He can only understand how the watch itself works. The same goes for humanity. If we rely on our observation of how human nature or the physical nature of the universe works to tell us who God is, how can we ever actually come to personally know God? At best we will discover the attributes of an impersonal and uncaring God. The Word of God is therefore necessary in hearing the truth and encountering God.

Tertiffic said...

And Tigerboy, I don't genuinely believe that our culture will accept the murder of two year-olds. It's just that given the role of "viability" within the abortion argument and the definition of what it is, it can just as easily be applied to include a toddler as it can a fetus. Society has grown to value independence so much that it now devalues dependence, which is evident within much of feminist philosophy, and prevalent within the rationality for abortion.

Tigerboy said...


Regarding these concepts of "absolute truth" and "absolute morality", you are failing to recognize a key distinction between truth and morality.

Morality only exists as a function of beings that experience suffering, and others that are willing (or not willing) to hand out ill treatment. If no sentient beings exist to feel suffering, or to be offended by some action of others, there is no morality. Morality is a feature of sentience and social interaction.

Truth (reality) exists, regardless of any sentient being's interaction with it. Reality objectively exists. All humans (all sentient beings) could cease to exist, yet reality would be unaffected. We merely exist within reality. Reality does not depend on us.

There is absolute truth. There exists some way to describe, accurately, the sum total of reality.

We have extremely limited perception of the totality of reality. We must be very careful how we objectively describe it to each other. We are famous for perceiving things in flawed ways. Yet, reality exists, regardless of what we do with it, or even if WE exist. Reality CAN be objectively described, even if that level of understanding is WAY beyond our abilities.

There is NO absolute morality, because morality is the interpretation of that which will cause suffering, or offense, in others. Without other sentient beings, beings capable of feeling suffering, or offense, the concept of morality ceases to have any meaning.

You are trying to make a correlation between two concepts that are really quite different. One is objective. No humans required. The other is entirely human. (Or, more accurately, entirely sentient.)

GCT said...

I'm going to separate my response into sections to make things easier:

1. Patriarchy
Let's start with what I agree with, and that is your definition of equality, "It is that men and women are of equal VALUE, that they should have equal legal RIGHTS, not that they are the SAME." So, you'll pardon me for feeling a bit confused when you advocate for the patriarchal system whereby women are seen as inferior and are basically held as property of their male relatives (either thru birth or thru marriage). This is the system that you are advocating we return to.

So, let's talk a bit about what Patriarchy really is. It's about gender roles. Men are men and women are women. Men pick up the tab on dates. Men open doors. Men do all the heavy lifting. These things you seem to be in agreement with, because they benefit you, but they don't necessarily benefit men. Yes, the Patriarchy can be damaging to men - really it's damaging to anyone who doesn't fit the assigned gender roles laid out. This is especially true when we talk about women's roles, i.e. getting paid less for the same job, getting overlooked for promotions, etc. Also, when we look at people who fall outside the "norm" like LGBTQ people or simply people who aren't as "manly." And, to top it off, this is all born of the idea that men are superior to women. I reject that notion, because I believe in equality, and you should too if you also believe in equality. Going back to the 50's is not some magic panacea that will solve all of society's actual or perceived ills.

Also, I'd like to see some evidence that increased freedom for women has a net negative effect on their mental and physical health.

Question: What if your husband wants to stay home with the kids?

To answer some of your questions:
Real world violence is not funny, whether it's men on women or vice versa. Double standards are unfair.

Yes, I would replace our Patriarchal structure with one where everyone is equal.

GCT said...

2. Proof of god.
Correct, science has not disproven all the fuzzy concepts of gods out there, although some that have made tangible and testable claims have been disproven. Still, I find your idea of a god that is powerless to convince anyone of anything to be contradictory. This god of yours is said to be omni-max, but lacks the basic ability to reason with us humans or demonstrate in a verifiable way that he exists? Rubbish. Not only that, but this god knows all and should know what it would take for each individual person to be convinced and can't or won't do it? This is a contradiction.

3. god's place in morality
Sorry, but god does not get off the hook for morality, and your explanation of his being above morality are at odds with your stance of absolute morality. You can't have it both ways. Also, Euthyphro's dilemma is still an issue for theists, yourself included.

I'll also note that you have the power dynamic backwards. god has more moral obligation to us than we to him because he is so much more powerful, and because of the place in which he holds in relation to us. Who has more moral responsibility, parents or children?

4. Faith as evidence for god
Wrong. Sorry, but I just had to say that. That's simply wrong. Faith is not evidence for god, it simply isn't. Or else you'd have to conclude that there's a ton of evidence for Allah as well as every other god out there, which I'm sure you don't. Additionally, believing something is so despite any evidence for it (which is what faith is, so it's sort of contradictory to begin with) does not make it so. No matter how much faith I may have that I can fly unaided, it doesn't make it so or even give evidence to the idea that it can happen.

5. Souls
There is no evidence that anything such as a soul exists, quite the contrary in fact. Briefly, studies have shown that people who undergo brain injuries can have radical changes to their temperament, thinking, personality, etc. If there was a soul, this would not happen.

Tertiffic said...

Here's an article for you...

Tertiffic said...

Also, just another really interesting article about gender preferences and roles...among monkeys. I genuinely think that as humans, the roles that have been traditionally held are our male and female instincts (or "design" as I would call it, though I think we were ultimately designed to have these instincts) and part of naturally who we are. To try and upheave that is just going to cause confusion (as it already has)and make things worse relationally and socially (as it already has)...

GCT said...

Did you even read the NY Times article before you posted it, or did it come as a reference from some apologetic site that told you it claimed what you want it to claim?

"Dr. Strickland added, "After working on our task force report, I'm amazed more women aren't depressed, just given their economics and general second-class citizen status.""

Yes, women as second class citizens (read Patriarchy) are depressed.

"The third recommended approach is feminist therapy, which takes into account issues of powerlessness and women's need for egalitarian relationships."

Note the bolded part.

In short, I'm not seeing how this article at all substantiates your claims. Quite the opposite, in fact.

GCT said...

Seeing "design" where there is none is an error that humans have a tendency to display. See, humans are prone to input patterns where there aren't any and anthropomorphize as well. We already understand evolution and we already know how it works, which precludes the idea of intentional "design."

Tigerboy said...

It's all very well and good that you long for the traditional roles of wife and mother, Tertiffic, and I have no doubt that there are plenty of other young ladies at your church who feel exactly the same way.

It's not very surprising. You all embrace a philosophy that teaches you that women are inferior to men, and that women have little purpose beyond being wife and mother.

But, guess what?!

There is NOTHING in our more egalitarian approach to gender roles that prevents you from finding a nice young ad executive, with a skinny tie and razor-sharp part in his hair, who just wants to love you, Jesus, and a bunch of kids, and who will complete all your dreams of a traditional, white-bread, nuclear family. Go for it.

Trust me, you do not represent all women.

Plenty of women are quite pleased with their new-found liberties to pursue a life outside the home, to prove themselves in the workplace, to explore how fulfilling it can be to earn an educational degree beyond the MRS, to control their own finances, to own their own real estate, and not to feel obligated by their society to always be submissive, barefoot and pregnant.

Make no mistake, a houseful of screaming toddlers (and another on the nipple) is NOT the dream of all women.

And, what about the people who do not fit narrow ideas of a "man's man/quarterback" married to "the homecoming queen/girl-next-door"?

Gay people, until recently, have actually been PREVENTED from having a romantic life. Your idealized vision of Eisenhower Utopia wasn't so great for them.

If you want traditional gender roles, you are free (and, throughout history, always have been free) to go out and put together just such a relationship.

(Well, except for that whole pre-feminist era when marriage would have been a property transaction between your parents and your groom. You wouldn't have had much say about that deal!)

Feminism and more egalitarian gender roles have done nothing but expand women's choices.

You may sincerely long for a very traditional feminine role, and I hope you find it. Greater opportunities for other people to live their lives outside of these narrowly proscribed gender roles does nothing to stop you from living exactly as you wish.

Tertiffic said...

GCT, yes, I did indeed read the article and I did see that part. I knew that comment contradicted what I was saying, yet the statistics did not. You wanted statistics, so I gave them to you. The thing is, when you have a feminist reporter writing an article from a feminist worldview, you're going to get comments like that strewn in along with the facts...just like you'd get the same from a Christian article. The whole point I'm making is that if destroying gender roles is such a great solution to women's equality, then why are more women depressed now than they were before? Why are so many girls suffering from eating disorders and low self-esteem? Why are so many women selling themselves into the sex industry? Or worse yet, giving themselves away to men for FREE..."no strings attached"...and then crying themselves to sleep because yet another man has used them? I'm just failing to see how women's situation has gotten BETTER. Yes, there are positives...right to vote, property ownership and equal opportunity in the workplace...but they are few. Women saw their confinement to the role of wife and mother as bondage, then freed themselves of that bondage only to sell themselves into more bondage to men...only now it's in the role of sex slave. Seems to me that misogynistic men gained far more than women did in this equality transaction...Again, I'm all for equal rights, but trying to achieve it by changing and/or removing gender roles is just a terrible idea and it's not actually doing any good.

Tertiffic said...


I read your comment and literally laughed out loud, because you honestly could not have made MORE false assumptions about me, and your derogatory tone about me even having the desire to be a wife and mother is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. First of all, just so ya know, I have my MASTER'S DEGREE, not an MRS degree. Second, the kind of clean cut, hair-parted man you imagine me being attracted to is not even remotely what I'm looking for, and I could care less if he's some executive at an ad company. Believe it or not, marriage isn't some financial transaction to me. Also, how many times do I have to tell you that I don't believe women are inferior to men, nor has the Bible ever taught me such a notion. Has the church held such a notion in the past? Absolutely. Did Christ? Never. And as for me being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen...your assumption that that's ALL a housewife does is yet another example of the very misogynistic thinking you keep speaking of. Personally, I could care less if I ever get pregnant at all. Why? Because one of the many things I look forward to doing when I'm married is being a foster parent...because there are plenty of kids (and teens) who would give ANYTHING to have the kind of functioning and healthy family that our culture is currently bent on destroying. But hey, I guess wanting to give orphaned and abused children a loving home is a pretty selfish thing to do, huh? And giving up a career to care for screaming toddlers surely can't be a noble thing, now can it? How terribly selfish.

Here's the difference between feminist philosophy and Christianity: everything. Feminism tells the woman to go after what she wants and to do whatever it takes. If having a baby gets in your way, get rid of it. It's all about you and getting what you want. And you want to know what Christianity teaches? (Which is undoubtedly why so many DON'T want anything to do with it) It's NOT ABOUT YOU. It's about loving God and loving others. You are called to become like Christ...SELFLESS. You willingly SERVE others and SACRIFICE your own desires and dreams for the sake of others. Feminism teaches entitlement and victimization, Christianity teaches humility and personal responsibility. Take Mother Theresa for example...she gave up EVERYTHING to serve the kind of people that most of us would undoubtedly walk out of our way to avoid. It's a foreign concept to the average American...this idea of self-sacrifice.

Now I'm not going to go and put down any woman who has a career. It's GOOD that we have choices, and so many women have so many gifts and talents that are being used in the workplace to serve others. But there are also many women who are so bent on proving themselves and being independent that they forget that there are more important things, and that when it comes to their dysfunctional relationships with men, what God has designed is readily available for them and is SO MUCH BETTER than the crap they've been settling for.

Sooo...yeah, sorry I actually care about the emotional well-being of women, and of children for that matter too. That's pretty misogynistic of me to look beyond "sexual freedom" to the actual heart of women. But then again, what do I know? I'm just a woman.

Please guys, take some time to look at stats comparing the 1950s to now. You can't ignore the exponential rise in crime, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, physical and sexual abuse, divorce, single parenthood, STDs, self-harm, etc. All statistical evidence points to the fact that the sexual revolution, feminist movement, and postmodern philosophy in general have MADE THINGS WORSE. Why is it that you think the very beliefs that have infiltrated our culture and in turn worsened conditions over the past 50 years are suddenly going to somehow also bring about improvement?

Tertiffic said...

Just a little article in defense of motherhood...

GCT said...

Correlation does not equal causation, and that's the point I was getting at. The statistics may point at a phenomena occurring, but you have to look at the reasons they are occurring. You have looked at the statistics and ignored the analysis to impart your own pre-conceptions as definitive reasons for the stats. My point was that when the analysis is done, it paints a very different picture than what you are painting.

Further, you have the gall to say that the freedom of women is leading them into sexual slavery? When women are property, they are reproductive and sexual slaves. Women of the 50s could not be raped by their husbands by law, for instance, and while some places still hold such antiquated ideas, the tide is turning. Women were property in the Bible and only recently have we begun to turn the tide on that. You wish to talk about sexual slavery? Well, holding a entire sex as property to do with as you will goes well beyond that.

If marriage is not a financial transaction, why are you advocating that we return to such a system?

You also claim the following:
"Feminism teaches entitlement and victimization, Christianity teaches humility and personal responsibility."

Wow, you couldn't be more wrong. Feminism teaches equality and how to recognize inequality and victimization. It also teaches against blaming the victim. Xianity teaches women to be in their place, to remember their status as less than men, to be subservient. I'm sorry, but I simply don't desire a life partner who feels she is inferior to me. I want an equal partner.

I would also advise against using Mother Teresa as any sort of moral guide as well. She denied any sort of actual help to many people under her care claiming that suffering was good for them, while she jet-setted around the world to get the best medical care possible when she needed it. She also kept company with thugs and ruthless dictators. Let's not also forget her penchant for using her undeserved platform to claim that abortion was the greatest threat to world peace (WTF?) and then also attack the use of contraceptives, which actually help reduce the numbers of abortions (more hypocrisy).

And, when you claim that you aren't going to put down any woman to has a career, I have to admit that I'm less than convinced, especially since you are advocating for returning to a time when women were not allowed to have careers. Think about what you are saying. You're honing in on "sexual freedom" while ignoring that that is only part and parcel of personal liberties. Yes, if women are granted personal liberties to have careers, decide on their own health issues, not be property of men, etc, sexual freedom comes with it. And, here's a good idea for you - you don't want to sleep around with men, then don't. It's that simple. Other women do and don't wake up crying in the middle of the night (a patriarchal stereotypical view that is born from the idea that women must be virginal while men can go and play the field). Yes, freedom is hard and yes, sometimes people make choices they may regret. Other times they don't. That's what is hard about freedom though, and having the choice is what is important. Telling women what they can and can't do and controlling their lives makes them into slaves. Giving women the choice to do what they will, even if they end up regretting a choice here or there (as everyone ends up doing at some point) is part of what it means to be a human - a full human.

GCT said...

BTW, I feel that I should point sometime out:

You had the ability to go for your Masters degree because of feminism and equality for women. You are advocating that other women not get the same opportunities.

Tigerboy said...



of Calcutta

was not someone to be revered! Not at all.

She took money from powerful people all over the globe, and did very little to alleviate suffering. She was very clear that she thought suffering was good!

All around her were people dying in abject poverty and wretched agony, while she told them they would go to Hell if they committed suicide!

In one of the most wretchedly destitute and overpopulated corners of the planet, she preached the family planning was a sin and "the greatest threat to world peace."

Deluded, fanatical, dangerous, and the augmenter and prolonger of inestimable suffering. Mouthpiece for the very worst policies of the Catholic Church.

She was hateful.

She was a hag.

Tertiffic said...

You’re right, correlation does not equal causation, but it certainly denotes a strong relationship. Correlation doesn’t make the statistics suddenly invalid. Your presumption that the statistics are instead a fifty year phenomenon is far, far less likely than the presumption that the current postmodern philosophical basis of our thinking is destroying our culture, not making it better.

And I must point out that never have I ever said that women should return back to their status of inequality prior to the feminist movement. Never. Perhaps I shouldn’t claim all of feminism to be a poor philosophy, because there are certainly aspects that are good and beneficial. After all, I am thankful for the opportunity to go to whatever school I want and study whatever I want and work wherever I want. That’s a GOOD thing. However, the fact that feminism is continuing on today after women have already received equality is ridiculous to me, particularly in realms where their whole goal is to now free themselves of the biological and natural responsibilities that come with being born a woman. And honestly, how exactly am I still considered a “second-class citizen,” as mentioned in the article, when I have all of the freedoms I currently have? I am simply suggesting a return to a mindset in which wifehood, motherhood, and the family in general are held in high esteem…in which one doesn’t look down on a woman for making the sacrifice of staying home and raising her children because it is what she WANTS to do. Does that woman have dreams and plans for a future? Undoubtedly. But she shouldn’t be looked down upon for giving up those dreams for the sake of a child or man that she loves. If anything, we should all be in awe of her for doing so, because it is a display of selflessness that is rarely seen these days. And finally, the fact that you would see marriage as nothing more than a financial transaction saddens me. It is so much more. It is a blessing. It is a demonstration of selfless, genuine love through a lifelong commitment. It’s meaning is far more than just money and security, but I doubt that you will see that, because apart from God---who gave it meaning---it has no meaning…as you see it.

And again, you’re right, I certainly have the freedom not to sleep around. No one is making me do so. But again, I care about the girls I mentor, I care about girls on the street, I care about my fellow women, I care about past, present, and future generations of women, and I have studied plenty of Psychology, certainly enough to know that an indicator of a woman…and man for that matter…having low self-worth…is sexual promiscuity. Freedom comes at a cost…it has boundaries…and it has those boundaries to ensure the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health of individuals and a society. So, please, explain to me how a woman having little or no sexual boundaries is emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually beneficial for her. What does a woman who chooses to sleep with multiple men actually have to gain, other than a few STDs? If feminism prevails and our culture no longer frowns on such behavior, what has she gained? If anything, she will have fewer people to step in and say, “Hey, I see this behavior, I see how it’s effecting you, and I’m concerned about you. What’s going on?” Sorry, but I for one am not going to be the one to encourage behavior that is only going to harm her. As it is, women already have the freedom to sleep around as much as they want. The battle that we see postmodern feminists fighting now is for the law to declare that which is morally wrong to be morally right, so that they might be free of the consequences that have come from making bad moral decisions. The thing is,

Tertiffic said...

the very consequences they are trying to rid themselves of are the very ones that exist to point them back to doing what is good, healthy, right, and beneficial for them.

And seriously guys, out of everything that I wrote, you’re going to pull out Mother Theresa and pick on her? I said she gave up her life, I didn’t say she was the savior of the world. But actions speak louder than words, so what have YOU done for the poor lately? When have YOU gone to the streets of Calcutta and fed the poor, touched the untouchable, and loved the unlovable? Your attack on her personal flaws does little to quiet the good that she has done, nor the impact it has had. If anything, she puts us all to shame. Because while people like us are here arguing on the Internet about morality and religion, people like her are actually going out into the world and sacrificing their lives to live out their faith in Christ by feeding the hungry, giving to the needy, and loving even their enemies. It’s funny how quick you guys are to pick on anything having to do with Christianity, because millions of people throughout the centuries have given their lives so that you might be able to hear the message of the Gospel and, well, you know…intimately know the God of the universe, go to heaven, live eternally with him, not have to pay the consequences of your actions here on earth because Christ did so for you, live a life full of love and not fear, etc. Please, I beg of you, look up the many people who have died so that you might hear. Look up the many people who are being beaten and tortured and executed today so that others might hear.

Would you give up your life so that others might hear the message of Atheism? If you are so convinced of its truth, then shouldn’t you by all means sacrifice your comforts and even your life if need be for its furtherance? Shouldn’t you do everything you can to free the world from religion? But odds are that you won’t, because if you believe in nothing, it turns out that you also have nothing to die for.

It’s funny, though, because the one thing that the true Atheist should sacrifice himself for…to free the world from the confines of religion and the law…is EXACTLY what Christ already died for.

Tigerboy said...

I'm sorry, but I am failing to see the crisis.

Not everyone lionizes marriage and motherhood. Breeding isn't difficult. Squirrels do it.

Is your point that mothers don't get enough devotion and reverence from this society? I think motherhood is celebrated far too much. Breeding is out of control! Do we really need tax breaks for baby-making?

We have MORE than enough.

The world is collapsing under the weight of so many snot-nosed little darlings. Let's celebrate science and math education for awhile.

Again, if a woman wants to spend her life cleaning up puke, she's welcome to do it. I'm certainly glad my mother chose to go for it. But, I'm prouder of her educational accomplishments.

Seriously. I take greater pride in the fact that my parents were smart, and hard workers, and politically aware, and compassionate, and supported the Civil Rights Movement, than I care about their fertility and babysitting abilities.

The bigger problem I see, here, is that society insists on pigeonholing women into two groups:

Whores and Mommies.

That's a huge problem. Women are practically people! They are almost as smart and psychologically complex as men (that's a joke). Not everyone shares your wishes about being a wife and mother, Tertiffic. That doesn't mean they must have low self-esteem!

Plenty of girls are in touch with a strong libido. They like sex. Why must you shame them? Why does wanting to enjoy an active sex life equal:

"There must be something wrong with them."
"We all know they SHOULD want to be mommies."
"If they are not desperately searching for a man to buy them a diamond ring, and a cozy cottage, with a nursery, they must be whores!"
"They have low self-esteem!"
"They need Christian counseling."

I think it's time for a holiday with flowers, and greeting cards, and breakfast-in-bed for all the women with post-graduate degrees. That would make the world a better place!

Why should we celebrate the cranking-out of more and more litters of kids?

Isn't the obsession with reproducing little carbon copies of one's self awfully narcissistic? It is. It's narcissism. We don't need more kids. We need fewer.

We need better SAT scores.

(I am well-aware that quality parenting can produce better SAT scores. I'm not saying that good parenting isn't a wonderful idea. But, we don't just celebrate really outstanding mothers. We celebrate reproduction, itself. We have plenty! We need quality, not quantity.)

Educational accomplishment is a better reason to throw a party and bring gifts than pregnancy.

GCT said...

If correlation does not equal causation, as you agree, then we have to dig into the data and run tests, etc. to figure out what the causation is among the multiple sets of correlating data. That's what you ignored. When someone in the article had actually gone in and examined things and come to a conclusion (still tentative, maybe) that contradicted what you wanted to be right, you simply ignored it in favor of your uninformed position.

As for inequality, you have basically been advocating just that. You want women to go back to being the sexual property of their husbands, to pine away for their prince charming to come and take their virginal selves to marriage for them to stay at home and only ever know one man for the purposes of pumping out babies. That's what it reads like to me.

Sure, you seem to think that women are smart and savvy enough to choose a career (that they should promptly give up as soon as they get hitched) and you seem to think women are smart and savvy enough to go to grad school and get an education. But, apparently, women are not smart and savvy enough according to you to make decisions regarding their own love lives. Left to their own devices, women will whore around and be miserable for their entire lives because they aren't smart enough to know better unless it's demanded of them that they be chaste until Prince Charming rides up. How insulting.

Also, why is it always the woman that is expected to give up her hopes and dreams for the man? She's expected to stay at home and raise the kids while the man is expected to be the bread winner. What would you say to a family where the man stayed home with the kids?

I never said that marriage is a financial transaction. Although there is a large degree of it involved (it is a contractual matter) it generally involves more (not always though). You completely misunderstood my comment. What I was getting at was that the traditional marriage for many, many years was one in which the bride was the financial transaction, passed from the property of the father to the property of the husband. Women's suffrage largely defeated this. In fact, it's been so successful that now Xians are claiming that marriage has always been about love in their attempts to block gay marriage.

And, yes, I'm going to point out the mother Teresa was not a good person. She used the vast wealth of the vatican to increase the suffering of others, not decrease it. Then, when faced with her own problems, she used that same wealth in order to get real help for herself, help that she denied to others.

Lastly, one giving up one's life for one's faith, do you hold the 9/11 hijackers in high esteem? They gave up their lives for a cause and for their religion, after all. Or, is it only laudable when one gives their life up for something that you happen to agree with?

For me, however, it is not laudable to give up one's life for fanaticism. People dying is tragic, not something to applaud.

And, I don't see you making yourself destitute and sacrificing your life for Xianity. Why the double standard? It seems that even if you believe in Xianity that you have nothing to die for.