Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Great Speaker for the 2010 SBC Annual Meeting

Today our prayers are with Johnny Hunt as he fights for victory over cancer, which we are confident the Lord will grant him.

I also want to put in a suggestion for the development of the program for the 2010 Southern Baptist Convention. I would love to see us have Representative Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) to speak in a prominent time-slot in our annual meeting in Orlando. Doing so would give us a chance to express our appreciation for this heroic man and to hear words of encouragement from him in the pursuit of justice for the least in our society.

As an added benefit, it might slow down some of the gadflies who have falsely and derisively claimed that the SBC is nothing more than an affiliate of the GOP (none of whom ever seem to have problems with the 125-year monogamy that the Democrat Party enjoyed with the SBC).

If you don't know much about Bart Stupak, you might peruse this excellent article in the New York Times.

37 comments:

Steve Young said...

Bart,
Not related to this post, except the first line. Do you have a good recource(s) dealing with a Biblical view of healing, especially in light of many who say "It is always God's will for you to be healed."

Steve Young

Dave Miller said...

I'm a lifelong Republican, and I do not mean to make this overly partisan, but I wonder sometimes why guys like this stay in the Democratic party. I could understand not wanting to become Republican. I've considered becoming Independent a few times out of frustration. But, if abortion matters (and to me it does) how can you identify with a party committed to it (and other life and moral issues).

On the other hand, I think your suggestion is a good idea.

bapticus hereticus said...

Dave: "... how can you identify with a party committed to [abortion]."

bapticus hereticus: The Democratic Party is not committed to abortion, rather it is committed to allowing one the right to choose or not choose abortion.

Bart Barber said...

Bart Stupak would differ with BH's characterization of what it means to be a Democrat.

If one were inclined to be contentious, one could accurately characterize the dominant faction of the party as those who support people's having the choice to murder or not to murder their offspring before birth while opposing people's having the choice to fund or not to fund a stranger's sex-change operation.

Greg said...

Bapticus hereticus… “The Democratic Party is not committed to abortion,”

Laughing out loud… YEA Right! And the Pope is Jewish.

bapticus hereticus said...

Bart: ... support ... the choice to murder or not to murder their offspring before birth ....

bapticus hereticus: If I were to conceptualize abortion as murder, then I, too, would not be for the right to choose. Legally, abortion is not murder, nor ethically such in most cases. I will admit that in some late-term instances, restriction of choice is a consideration that merits attention.

Greg: Laughing out loud ....

bapticus hereticus: OK.

That abortion is chosen is not equivalent to stating abortion is preferred, even if choice and preference at times do coincide.

When one has a choice of giving birth, but dying in the process or due to such, or not giving birth and living due to such, what will those opposed to the right to choose or not choose abortion provide in counsel to said person? From a conservative perspective, does a potential mother remove her right to life when impregnated? If not, then from said perspective, the above scenario presents competing, zero sum interests.

Bart Barber said...

BH, I notice that you have passed on the opportunity to discuss the anti-choice platforms of the Democrat Party.

Bart Barber said...

In case anyone is interested, the law struck down in Texas by Roe v. Wade allowed for abortion to save the life of the mother. Arguing for U.S. abortion law on the basis of health risks for the mother is like arguing against stop signs because of the people who get rear-ended at intersections when they have to stop. The percentage of abortions performed in the U.S. that are necessary to save the life of the mother are in the statistical noise.

Bart Barber said...

Steve, I didn't miss your question, I just didn't get around to answering it yet. I would direct you to a man named Justin Peters. He has a web site. He is the best person I know to help you.

bapticus hereticus said...

Bart: BH, I notice that you have passed on the opportunity to discuss the anti-choice platforms of the Democrat Party.

bapticus hereticus: OK. I am generally against restricting a woman’s right to choose.

Bart: [1] ... Arguing for U.S. abortion law on the basis of health risks for the mother is like arguing against stop signs because of the people who get rear-ended at intersections when they have to stop. [2] The percentage of abortions performed in the U.S. that are necessary to save the life of the mother are in the statistical noise.

bapticus hereticus: [1] Among some conservatives (perhaps some that post to your blog) health issues of the female are insufficient reasons for aborting a fetus. [2] Granted, it is very likely that too many people are choosing to abort a fetus.

Dave Miller said...

Actually, BH, you have kind of made my point. You are pro-abortion, and so you feel home in the Democratic Party, right?

My question is how someone who believes as I do, and evidently as Bart Stupak does, that abortion is fundamentally wrong, can remain in a party committed to abortion as a right.

Abortion rights are part of the Dem's platform, are they not?

bapticus hereticus said...

Dave: ... [1a] You are pro-abortion, and [1b] so you feel home in the Democratic Party, right … [2] Abortion rights are part of the Dem's platform, are they not?

bapticus hereticus: [1a] I am pro-choice, and [1b] I identify more with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party. I am in the Democratic Party but not of it, if you will. [2] The platform is actually ‘the right to choose.’ Having a right does not preclude the value of foregoing the right (e.g., Philippians 2.6).

Big Daddy Weave said...

If the only meaningful difference between the Republican party and the Democratic party was the platform position on abortion, I'd be a Republican.

That's certainly not the case. I'm sure that Bart Stupak feels the same way.

Regarding the Texas statute struck down which lead to the Roe decision, that statute was inadequate. The law did not allow for abortion in the case of rape and incest nor was it well-written in terms of what constitutes saving the life of the mother, etc.

Many Texans including a number of Baptists were calling for sensible reform at the time. Unfortunately, the Roe decision gave those Texans something which many did not want - an almost unrestricted right to abortion.

One other thing: Democrats are not a monolithic bunch. Dissent is not a dirty word. And both parties are better off when we don't allow the more fringe elements to dominate policy discussions. I do my best to ignore NARAL just like I do my best to ignore Focus and FRC.

Bart Barber said...

BH: The "anti-choice" planks that I meant had to do with your party being against my having a choice as to whether I should have to pay for the Octomom's fertility treatments.

BDW: We certainly need more pro-life Dems. I'm thankful for pro-life Dems.

As to rape and incest exceptions: Once they figure out a way to abort the rapist instead, count me in.

Bart Barber said...

BDW: My conscience tells me that I should give you a better response to the rape/incest question.

I believe that abortion is murder. There's my starting point.

Now, with regard to actual murder, we note the following: 1) We have circumstances in which we regard homicide as justifiable. 2) We have circumstances in which we regard homicide as unjustifiable, but totally understandable.

1. With regard to those types of murder that are justifiable, they invariably (I think) pertain either to a situation in which I didn't realize that I was or could have been murdering someone or to a situation in which I murdered someone else in the reasonable belief that I had to do so in order to protect myself from suffering a similar fate.

Spontaneous or accidental abortions fit the first category.

Abortions in which the mother's life is truly in jeopardy fit the second category.

Neither of these situations should constitute a violation of the law.

2. There are a great many situations in life in which I hear of a person committing murder and think to myself, "If I were in that circumstance, I might be tempted to do exactly the same thing." If some serial killer were to murder one of my children, I think I might be tempted to take the law into my own hands. If some serial killer were to murder someone close to you, Aaron, and if you were to carry a firearm to a courthouse and murder such a person, I would feel sympathy for you. I would not regard your actions as the moral equivalent of what the serial killer had done to your loved one.

Nevertheless, I do not want it to be legal for aggrieved victims to be able to execute vigilante justice upon those who have offended them. Such an action should be illegal (as it indeed is), even if it conjures up my sympathy and is entirely understandable.

I think that it is entirely understandable that a woman who has been raped or who has been a victim of incest should desire to get rid of any child conceived through such a horrific act. She has my sympathy. I do not regard her as a bad person if she wants to have an abortion.

And yet, I still do not believe that it should be legal for her to deprive the child of life for the sins of the father.

We have laws precisely because there will be occasions when we will really, really, really want to do the wrong thing.

bapticus hereticus said...

Bart: BH[, t]he "anti-choice" planks that I meant had to do with your party being against my having a choice as to whether I should have to pay for the Octomom's fertility treatments.

bapticus hereticus: On what ground(s) do you wish to deny fertility treatments?

___

Bart: And yet, I still do not believe that it should be legal for her to deprive the child of life for the sins of the father.

bapticus hereticus: For rape and incest, it is to be that the female must bear the sin of the male, otherwise she reveals a fault in her character?

Bart Barber said...

BH: I don't wish to deny fertility treatments. The Octomom should be free to undergo all of the fertility treatments that she can afford.

Anonymous said...

Bart:

I think your idea about Rep. Stupak is a great idea.

I am surprised by the follow up discussion, and am surprised to see some of the positions regarding abortion advocated by my brethren.

No wonder they don't like the CR!

At least the official public policy arm of the SBC is now pro-life, like most of the SBC constituency.

Unlike the days when the CLC was run by a pipleine of lay and pastoral folks (mainly from the Texas CLC) who were members of the ACLU and supported things like abortion rights because to them it was a "Catholic issue."

However, trying to argue that the DNC and the national party is only "pro-choice" and not "pro-abortion" is pointing out a distinction without a different - in their case. (But I will agree that is not true in all cases, just as it relates to the national party).

As to the national Democratic Party's position on abortion, the DNC at the national level is very aggressive in its support for a woman to have an abortion, is against notification and waiting periods, is against pre-abortion counseling that might mention alternatives of keeping the children, is for the funding of organizations in this country and around the world that promote and perform abortions, is for the funding of performing abortions, is against banning late term abortions that really are more akin to infanticide, and is for hassleing (sp?) pro-life crisis pregnancy centers etc.

They are so aggressively PRO choice, there is nothing left on the abortion agenda that does not receive their enthusiastic support. At least, I can't think of anything.

The abortion industry and its proponents are major contributors/supporters of the DNC and actually play a big role in shaping DNC policies and initiatives on this issue. Planned Parenthood itself receives hundreds of millions of dollars from the budget through the efforts of primarily Democratic Party leaders in congress.

I cannot think of any prominent national Democrat who, say, in the last 20 years, has ever said something like this - "Abortion is horribly immoral. It is the taking of innocent life. I am opposed to it. But, unfortunately, abortions are going to go on anyway, so I reluctantly support abortion as an option that needs to be available for women today. But we shouldn't glorify it, promote it, or subsidize it."

They might say, "Abortion is a tragedy..." But they mean for the mom. Not the child.

But they never (at least to my knowledge) condemn the act of abortion as an immoral act of killing with regard to the innocent human life.

If I am wrong, and have missed something, and their is a prominent national Democrat, in leadership, who has said what I outlined or something close to it -let me know by posting it. Oh, and I don't mean a 30 year old quote from Jesse Jackson or Dick Gephart, who once supported a pro-life amendment to the US Constitution. They recanted those positions years ago.

Also, Stupak doesn't count because he is not at all prominent. He's like Heath Shuler and some other pro-life Democrats in the House.

But having Stupak at the SBC would be great.

Louis

bapticus hereticus said...

Louis: However, trying to argue that the DNC and the national party is only "pro-choice" and not "pro-abortion" is pointing out a distinction without a differen[ce] ....

bapticus hereticus: Given, then, that free speech must equate with ardent advocation of flag burning, let us, therefore, call the free speech position the flag burning position, instead.

Bart Barber said...

I think Louis's point holds and the BH's objection does not. Louis did not say that being pro-choice logically and inherently entails being pro-abortion. Rather, Louis adjudged Democrat policies to have been pro-abortion rather than merely pro-choice. Louis, it appears to me, acknowledges the theoretical distinction between the two—he does not deny that the category might hypothetically exist of the pro-choice / anti-abortion advocate.

He is merely saying that, if such a being might hypothetically exist, the Democrats' platform and actions are not an exemplar of that category.

I think he's right.

bapticus hereticus said...

Bart: I think Louis's point holds and the BH's objection does not. Louis did not say that being pro-choice logically and inherently entails being pro-abortion. Rather, Louis adjudged Democrat policies to have been pro-abortion rather than merely pro-choice. Louis, it appears to me, acknowledges the theoretical distinction between the two—he does not deny that the category might hypothetically exist of the pro-choice / anti-abortion advocate. He is merely saying that, if such a being might hypothetically exist, the Democrats' platform and actions are not an exemplar of that category. I think he's right.

bapticus hereticus: It only takes one example to demonstrate it is not hypothetical. Clinton is on record as stating abortions, although legal, should be rare, and he is still a pretty significant voice in the Democratic Party. Although not significant, however, in this thread I have indicated that likely too many abortions are being performed, thus to state that our positions are ‘hypothetical’ is willfully neglecting to acknowledge a point that others have made and are presently making. Second, I am open, that is, demonstrate to me where the Democratic platform encourages abortion rather than promotes it as a right of women, and in addition, in the case of an unexpected or even unwanted pregnancy, indicate where the Democratic Party is on record stating that such should be terminated via abortion. Third, anti-abortion is not a Democratic position nor is pro-abortion a position, either; but for most Democrats, I would surmise, an anti-abortion sentiment is closer to them than pro-abortion, but the issue is, importantly, again, about choice, the freedom to choose or not choose abortion, to exercise the autonomy of one’s physical self. If one cannot say yes or no, then no or yes have no meaning of intrinsic worth. Lastly, conflating pro-choice with pro-abortion is to impose a position that is easier to refute; that is, straw men, typically, are easier to dismiss.

Bart Barber said...

BH, Nobody here is questioning the content of Democrat rhetoric. We've all been exposed to enough of that to know the general outline. The question is not with regard to what the Democrat Party has said, but rather with regard to what they have done.

They've done this. There is the lasting legacy of the Democrat Party. It breaks my heart to say so about the party of Andrew Jackson, but it is the truth.

I guess she made her choice. None of our business, right?

Bart Barber said...

....and before we suggest that lawmakers had no culpability in this case, hear the story told by the local sherriff.

Anonymous said...

Bart:

Thanks for the support.

By BH's standard, no one is "pro abortion" unless they are also "pro" other surgeries that are not performed to cure or arrest disease etc.

So Bill Clinton says "abortions should be safe but rare." That is not anything close to the words I suggested a top Democrat would never utter. If you are going to come up with an example, at least come up with one. No abortion is safe, if considered from the position of the child. And that is my point. No top Democrat will ever go on record saying abortion is the killing of innocent human life. I am still waiting for that to happen one day, and am hopeful that when the current generation passes on that there may be more honest political discussion about this issue.

BH, you and your friends have a lot of persuading to do if you want to bring back the "ethical" position of Dr. Valentine on this issue. I suggest you get busy with some good abortion sermons and travel the country to drum up support from other Baptists!

Louis

bapticus hereticus said...

Bart: BH, Nobody here is questioning the content of Democrat rhetoric. We've all been exposed to enough of that to know the general outline. The question is not with regard to what the Democrat Party has said, but rather with regard to what they have done. They've done this. There is the lasting legacy of the Democrat Party. It breaks my heart to say so about the party of Andrew Jackson, but it is the truth. I guess she made her choice. None of our business, right?

bapticus hereticus: Yes, she made her choice, Bart, and it was a poor choice, but under Virginia law, poorly constructed as it is, and even the alternative to current law is poorly constructed and not without its problems, too, she has said right. I am unaware that the right to abort assumes a moral outcome, but it behooves Virginia to write better laws so that its laws are sufficiently congruent with federal law. I think one would be hard-pressed to assert such an incident only alarms conservatives and not liberals. Now, however, you have the burden of proving that what she did is representative of Democrats and the Democratic Party.

Louis: By BH's standard, no one is "pro abortion" unless they are also "pro" other surgeries that are not performed to cure or arrest disease etc. So Bill Clinton says "abortions should be safe but rare." That is not anything close to the words I suggested a top Democrat would never utter. If you are going to come up with an example, at least come up with one. No abortion is safe, if considered from the position of the child. And that is my point. No top Democrat will ever go on record saying abortion is the killing of innocent human life. I am still waiting for that to happen one day, and am hopeful that when the current generation passes on that there may be more honest political discussion about this issue.

bapticus hereticus: My and other’s position is not hard to understand, but it is difficult to refute on its own terms, thus the conflation of pro-abortion and choice demagoguery. Louis’ comments are but others in a long line of such attempts. Instead of looking for points of contact between liberals and conservatives, say the story posted above by Bart, the strategy here is to divide even further, but "let’s do so by ignoring the other’s point of view and give the other the view that we wish to argue against so that we can more easily diminish it."

Louis, I am reasonably confident that you are aware that back-alley abortions and those performed by medical personnel under very controlled conditions are of different quality and safety (i.e., the point of Clinton’s remarks, to which I am also confident that you are likely aware), but you are free to ignore these differences if you wish in making your point. But, as I have previously stated, mostly I don't have a problem with pro-life logic, rather the premis, instead. I don’t accept the fetus as child in most cases of abortion and don’t accept such until very late in pregnancy, to which at said point, a female’s right to choose, restricted to the health concerns of the mother, is reasonable.

Louis: BH, you and your friends have a lot of persuading to do if you want to bring back the "ethical" position of Dr. Valentine on this issue. I suggest you get busy with some good abortion sermons and travel the country to drum up support from other Baptists!

bapticus hereticus: Actually, Louis, the burden is more yours than mine if the latest figures by the Washington Post are to be trusted (and yes I am aware the question is posed as abortion rather than choice):

"Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases, or illegal in all cases?" In all cases: 19%; Legal in most cases: 35%, Illegal in most cases: 28%; Illegal in all cases: 16%; Unsure: 2%.

My guess is that one will find conservatives and liberals in each category, even if said groups tend to cluster in some areas more than others.

Bart Barber said...

BH: Did you see the linked video? The sheriff has encountered similar crimes before. His department went to legislators to seek a better version of the law. The legislators refused, worried about the impact that changes to the law might have on abortion law.

My burden of proof has been met already.

bapticus hereticus said...

Bart: BH[,] Did you see the linked video? The sheriff has encountered similar crimes before. His department went to legislators to seek a better version of the law. The legislators refused, worried about the impact that changes to the law might have on abortion law. My burden of proof has been met already.

bapticus hereticus: I did, thanks, but that alone is insufficient for making your case. I am surely no authority on Virginia politics, but from what I recall about Virginia, only until recently it has been a Republican state and mostly influenced by conservative politics, and it appears it may be moving back in that direction, again. Thus far attempts to change said law have not been satisfactory to anyone’s sense of justice (i.e., the alternative law is too restrictive [as per the Supreme Court] and the current law has a very unintended problem, thus the predicament that Virginia finds itself is not due solely to Republicans or Democrats, rather it is both a Republican and Democrat problem.

Anonymous said...

BH:

I agree that it would be helpful to discuss common ground on this issue. I think that most of us do that in reality if we have any friends who might disagree with us.

One area of common ground that I would like to see is for pro abortion rights folks, who can do so, to speak of abortion as moral and social evil, aside from all the legalities. From what I can tell, you would be able to do that, at least for "late term" abortions (however you define those).

I can agree that places that perform abortions should be clean, regulated, covered by med mal insurance etc. just as other similar facilities that are used for other medical related procedures.

So, there's a couple of areas of common ground.

I actually think that the pro-life side is viewed more favorably and abortion is a stigma in our society, regardless of the fact that it is legal. Pro-lifers have gained a lot of ground in recent years in that regard. Ultrasounds and other technonlogy has helped that.

The recent story of the abortion provider office manager changing sides was really interesting.

Oh, and if you re-read my post, you'll see that I was speaking of the SBC constituency, not the country as a whole, when it comes to persuasion.

I believe that the SBC churches and members are very pro-life.

Take care.

Louis

bapticus hereticus said...

Louis: BH[,] I agree that it would be helpful to discuss common ground on this issue. I think that most of us do that in reality if we have any friends who might disagree with us. One area of common ground that I would like to see is for pro abortion rights folks, who can do so, to speak of abortion as moral and social evil, aside from all the legalities. From what I can tell, you would be able to do that, at least for "late term" abortions (however you define those).

bapticus hereticus: I think it reasonable to assert that at some point, under some conditions, abortion would not be justifiable behavior. As scientific studies provide greater insight (as you mention below), we will likely see a greater convergence of, now opposing, positions on this matter.

---

Louis: I actually think that the pro-life side is viewed more favorably and abortion is a stigma in our society, regardless of the fact that it is legal. Pro-lifers have gained a lot of ground in recent years in that regard. Ultrasounds and other technonlogy has helped that … Oh, and if you re-read my post, you'll see that I was speaking of the SBC constituency, not the country as a whole, when it comes to persuasion. I believe that the SBC churches and members are very pro-life. Take care.

bapticus hereticus: I think you are right in that the country has shifted somewhat to the right on abortion, but overall, I think the nation is more pro-choice than pro-life, although I would not argue that those in SBC give greater weight to pro-choice; that is, I think you are right concerning the SBC.

Happy New Year.

Dave Miller said...

BH, if you are still hanging around.

You said, "[1a] I am pro-choice, and [1b] I identify more with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party. I am in the Democratic Party but not of it, if you will. [2] The platform is actually ‘the right to choose.’ Having a right does not preclude the value of foregoing the right (e.g., Philippians 2.6)."

The distinction between "pro-abortion" and "pro-choice" is silly, meaningless and morally indefensible.

Either abortion is okay, or it is the murder of a living person. There is no wiggle room in the middle. Bill Clinton tried that kind of moral triangulation (Abortion should be safe, legal and rare.)

If you are pro-choice, you are saying that it is okay for a mother to pay a doctor to go inside her womb and kill the being inside. You may not do it yourself, but you are protecting the right of another to do it.

If you are pro-life, you believe that the killing of an unborn baby is morally reprehensible. You cannot say, "I think abortion is wrong but I don't want to make that choice for everyone." If it is wrong, it is wrong.

Try that with other activities.

"I think rape is wrong, but I don't want to make that choice for everyone."

"I think murder is wrong but I don't want to make that choice for everyone."

"I think pedophilia is wrong but I don't want to impose my views on another."

You can only be pro-choice by saying that abortion is not a moral evil, but a personal choice. In saying that you have sided with abortion.

You are morally pro-abortion - saying that abortion is morally acceptable.

Anonymous said...

BH:

Happy New Year to you, too.

Thanks for your thorough and interesting dialogue.

Look forward to more exchanges in the coming year.

Louis

bapticus hereticus said...

Dave: The distinction between "pro-abortion" and "pro-choice" is silly, meaningless and morally indefensible. Either abortion is okay, or it is the murder of a living person. There is no wiggle room in the middle. Bill Clinton tried that kind of moral triangulation (Abortion should be safe, legal and rare.)

bapticus hereticus: While one has the right to choose abortion, the choice may or may not be moral.

Dave: If you are pro-choice, you are saying that it is okay for a mother to pay a doctor to go inside her womb and kill the being inside. You may not do it yourself, but you are protecting the right of another to do it.

bapticus hereticus: Whereas up to some point in some states, she has the right to abort the fetus, I am not stating, however, that the exercise of said right must be moral because it is legal.

Dave: If you are pro-life, you believe that the killing of an unborn baby is morally reprehensible. You cannot say, "I think abortion is wrong but I don't want to make that choice for everyone." If it is wrong, it is wrong. Try that with other activities. "I think rape is wrong, but I don't want to make that choice for everyone." "I think murder is wrong but I don't want to make that choice for everyone." "I think pedophilia is wrong but I don't want to impose my views on another."

bapticus hereticus: At the point when one is dealing with child instead of a developing fetus, it is reasonable to restrict the circumstances that allow for abortion.

Dave: You can only be pro-choice by saying that abortion is not a moral evil, but a personal choice. In saying that you have sided with abortion. You are morally pro-abortion - saying that abortion is morally acceptable.

bapticus hereticus: In a particular circumstance I may be pro-abortion (that is, ‘this’ abortion as moral behavior), but in another anti-abortion (that is, ‘this’ abortion as immoral behavior). Given our science on the matter, I am pro-choice, but am open to the reasonable limits of such.

Dave Miller said...

bapticus hereticus: At the point when one is dealing with child instead of a developing fetus, it is reasonable to restrict the circumstances that allow for abortion.

When does that happen?

bapticus hereticus said...

Dave: When does that happen?

bapticus hereticus: Typically in the last tri-semester seems to be the current thinking among researchers/physicians. A prime consideration is consciousness of pain, which research suggests occurs around the seventh month of pregnancy.

Bart Barber said...

If consciousness of pain makes one a person, then one is not a person during surgery.

bapticus hereticus said...

Bart: If consciousness of pain makes one a person, then one is not a person during surgery.

bapticus hereticus: Because we have the ability to experience and process pain, we block said receptors in the brain when engaging surgery; we are not removing said capability.

jonwhitehead said...

Bart:

Oh how I wish this looked like a good idea, in retrospect.